Malcolm X: From Little to El-Shabazz to X - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1830 Words
Date:  2023-02-25


Malcolm X, whose original name is Malcolm Little, with a Muslim name el-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, was born on May 19, 1925, and died February 21, 1965 (Redmond and Jillian, 23). The African American, human rights activist, was born in Omaha, Nebraska U.S, serving as a prominent figure in the Nation of Islam. Malcolm's changed his slavery name of "Little" to X, denoting his resistive attitude to slavery (Hart and William David, 5). Malcolm acquired nationalistic culture from his father Earl Little, an outspoken Baptist minister and the committed supporter of the Black Nationalist leader Marcus Garvey. Before Malcolm's fourth birthday, Earl's activism on civil rights resulted in death threats from Black Legion's white supremacists. According to Terry et al., the outspoken public voice of the Black Muslims raised challenging ideologies on the mainstream civil-rights movement and broadened the nonviolent integrational pursuits as preceded by Martin Luther King Jr. (206).

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After the Ku Klux Klan threats on Earl's family moved to Michigan where similar threats were still the agenda of the day; however, he again urged black people to take control of their lives. Despite the Little's efforts in 1992 to elude the Legion, their Lansing, Michigan home was put down on fire. Earl's body was found two years later lying across Michigan town's trolley tracks. Little's family traced the cause of this death and were much guaranteed that the Black Legion's members were responsible for this assassination, although the police ruled both cases like accidents. This incidence resulted in the split and separation of Earl's family, many of his children being absorbed by various foster homes and orphanages.

Malcolm and his buddy, Malcolm "Shorty" Jarvis eventually shifted back to Boston. Later they were arrested and convicted of burglary charges in 1946; Malcolm was sentenced to a ten years term in prison. Being of twenty-one years of age Malcolm encountered and comprehended the teachings of Elijah Muhammad, the Lost-Found Nation's leader among Islam popularly referred to as Black Muslims. The thesis on Muhammad's teaching "the white man is the devil with who blacks cannot live" (Redmond and Jillian, 26) prompted Malcolm's nationalistic perspectives and ideologies. Malcolm further realized Muhammad's power of faith immediately he encountered the argumentative statement stating that "only blacks can cure the ills afflicting them" (Terry et al., 207). Malcolm was later paroled after serving for seven years due to his loyal discipline and adopted the stolen identity of X-symbol as his last name.

Becoming a minister of Temple No. 7 in Harlem, his advocacy of self-defense and indictments of racism gave Malcolm elicited admirations, fear, and beyond the black community in New York (Terry et al., 187). Malcolm's articulates and intelligence made him an appointee as a minister and national spokesman to the Nation of Islam. He was granted more leadership responsibilities of founding new mosques in cities among them were; Michigan, Detroit, and Harlem in New York. Being a nationalist just like his father Earl, Malcolm took advantage of his power and fame utilizing radio and television as well as newspaper columns to communicate the NOI's message across the United States (Hart and William David, 32). This boosted his charismatic, conviction and drives that attracted an surprising number of new members. According to Johnson and Malcolm, Malcolm gained large crediting of NOI's newly increasing membership from 500 as per 1952 census to 30 000 in 1963 (13). This gain defines the paradox behind Malcolm's influence and respect of the individual's interests and differences.

The increased crowds and controversies bombarding within Malcolm's surroundings made him a media magnet, which impacted positively on NOI as much of its fundamentals and lead character of Malcolm. For instance, in 1959 he was featured in a week-long television program "The Hate That Hate Produced" by Mike Wallace, tracked the fundamentals behind the Nation of Islamic and Malcolm as NOI's most influential leader. According to Dustin, and Seyed Javad Miri, in 1960, there arose racial tensions due to uncomfortable reality claiming that Malcolm had eclipsed his fame beyond his mentor's (Elijah Muhammed) (29). Furthermore, Malcolm's vivid personality had brought debating issues as it had risen beyond the media to the government's attention. This led to secret interventions by the government as the membership of NOI persistently continued to grow. For instance, FBI agents infiltrated the organization secretly placing surveillance equipment like cameras, wiretaps, and placed bugs to monitor the group activities. His faith protruded crushing blow towards civil rights movement heights in 1963, learning of the secret affairs that his mentor had with up to six women within the NOI organization. Furthermore, he came to know that the relationships had developed its roots to the extent of resulting in children. Having learned and adhered to Muhammed's teaching, Malcolm refused Muhammad's request to cover up the matter and subsequent children (Redmond and Jillian, 13). More so, Malcolm was deeply hurt by the deception of Muhammad whom he considered a living prophet. He felt the burden of guiltiness on the masses he had led in NOI (Dustin, and Seyed Javad Miri, 41) but now experiencing fraudulent organization built on ignorance, and sooner had he finished the shocking discovery than he received criticism of a comment he had made about President John F. Kennedy's assassination. After the comment, "never foresaw that the chicken s would come home to roost so soon," (Dustin, and Seyed Javad Miri, 34) Elijah Muhammed silenced Malcolm for 90 days making him suspicious of the second thought reason for him being silenced.

In March 1964, Malcolm ended his relationship with the nation of Islamic and decided to found his religious organization, Muslim Mosque, due to his inabilities of looking past Muhammed's deception. He went for a pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia during the same year. However, the trip proved life-altering. This trip was vital for Malcolm because he, for the first time shared his beliefs with various cultures yielding to benevolently overwhelming positive. When he returned to America, Malcolm referred to the people he encountered during his trip as "brothers." His return to the United States disclosed a new outlook on integration and new hope for the future with a fully transformed way of preaching that not only covered African-Americans but a message to all races in the United States. In realization of Malcolm's termination of his position in NOI, Elijah Muhammed and Malcolm's relationship became increasingly volatile. Several attempts were made on assassinating Malcolm, one of the FBI informants in NOI warned officials of the marked assassination of Malcolm. After realizing this, Malcolm rarely traveled anywhere without bodyguards. On February 14, Malcolm's homestead was firebombed; however, the family escaped physical injuries (Johnson and Malcolm, 201). A week later, the enemies' ruthless attempt was successful in the Manhattan's Audubon Ballroom where three gunmen rushed Malcolm on stage (Terry et al., 201) shot him 15 times of close range pronouncing the death of the 39-year-old Malcolm. From this early history, biography, and rise of Malcolm into power, I, therefore, support that Malcolm was a patriot who spearheaded for human rights activists and an individual's self-defense just like the next part of this paper is going to discuss.

Malcolm X As A Revolutionary Leader

The initial rose of Malcolm into power as a prominent leader of the Nation of Islam marked his new beginnings of innovative activities. Achieving to transform the small religious cult into a widened, powerful congregation marked an era of changes as the agendas of the religious cult began to divert into movements that inspired new generations between the 1950s and 1960s (Dyson and Michael Eric, 31). The message of militant Black Nationalism was the set common goal among the African Americans struck chords in the ghetto territories of the north, and the civil rights movement is linked to the centers of apartheid in the south.

According to Miri and Seyed Javad, observation, many of the "socialists" of Malcolm's day attempted to turn Malcolm into a harmless icon of the society, and a similar case happened with the ruling class which also tried to turn prominent figures like Malcolm X and Martin Luther King into harmless icons after their deaths. There arose several vices on Malcolm's efforts of imparting revolutionary culture among the African-Americans; savage malice like hatred and unscrupulous campaigns of slander, propaganda, and lies happened when Malcolm was alive and even at the moment of his death.

Malcolm espoused key aspects like freedom cannot be achieved by black people unless they fight for it. It is through this ideology that Malcolm broke with Elijah Muhammed, the Nation's spiritual leader, turning his attention to the Black Struggle using his religious organization (Byrd and Dustin During, 73). His freedom is gained in this context when Malcolm says, "I now feel that what I am saying and thinking is for myself before it was for and by the guidance of Elijah." This marked the beginning of his successful Black Struggle journey. The message of nationalism among the black hit a ready audience to the north, making the black struggle to shift to northern cities as black people with the influence of Malcolm took the protests to the streets (Miri and Seyed Javad, 148).

In his revolutionary activities, Malcolm demanded black people's rights to select their leaders, even though the Times and the liberals made misleading information and claim that Malcolm was violence supporting advocate. He stood for the exact opposite in defeating the force of racist using self-defense. It is at this juncture when Malcolm urged and seeks for rights to armed self-defense among the black people against the racist violence that they had become tolerant to.

Malcolm also believed that the United States' government is confiscated with racism and will not grant any black American freedom without seeking them. This not only happened in America and therefore, Malcolm moved his nationalism to an internationalist stance which some appeared in his speeches and he also took part in international travels to share various cultural beliefs, oppressive governments especially challenging the U.S before the United Nations for its racism that affected black Americans and other communities across Asia and Africa (Byrd and Dustin During, 54). Nevertheless, Malcolm's termination of his leadership with the NOI and starting of his new course significantly contributed to his revolutionary actions in the United States. In a militant labor forum in association with SWP, Malcolm spoke of the topic "the black revolution" where he pointed out his ideas on why he had a strong opposition to Blacks who supported Democratic Party. He refrained on this topic during his may, 1964 meeting of s "Harlem Hate Gang" addressing the attacks on the OAAU in conjunction with the capitalist press.

Malcolm's Commitment To Leadership And Politics Helped Realize Black Unity

His rejections of the Muslims' narrow outlook helped achieved greater solidarity among African-Americans despite their social status, their uncritical stance upon newly independent nationalistic regimes, and commitment to electoral politics. Although they were still distanced from socialism, the black power movement was forecasted to last later in five years. Making a critical analysis of Malcolm's speech between the times of existence of the nation of Islamic and his murder, it can be argued that Malcolm never defined his ideas of indepen...

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Malcolm X: From Little to El-Shabazz to X - Essay Sample. (2023, Feb 25). Retrieved from

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