Malcolm Little; Malcolm X
Malcolm Little also known as Malcolm X was a civil rights activist, and once a member of the nation of Islam. Malcolm was a gifted orator and his charisma brought the attention to many. How did Malcolm x have an impact on the nation of Islam. Malcolm x had effect on the Nation of Islam by help raising the Black Nationalism, he helped developed Muhammad speaks, and defend the nation of Islam. Also he had impact on NOI by breaking away from the organization and then criticizes the leader of nation of Islam.
Malcolm x mother named Louise little was an educated fair skinned woman from Grenada. She was conceived when her father, a white man she never knew, raped her mother. She gave birth to Malcolm in Omaha, Nebraska. Malcolm X father Earl Little, a tall, black Baptist preacher from Georgia, who works for Marcus Garvey's Universal Negro Improvement Association, which supports Black Nationalism and the return of American blacks to Africa. Malcolm x was the lightest skinned of Earl Little's children and follow his father to the UNIA meetings. Perhaps those meetings could have had an effect on Malcolm in later to come. Malcolm family moves to Lansing, Michigan, in 1929, another white supremacist group burn down their house. Malcolm says that watching his house burn taught him one of many early lessons about being black in America.
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When Malcolm is six, white men who opposed Earl's Black Nationalist work which killed him. Later on the great depression hit which made the Little family to rely on welfare. Malcolm who is trying to survive steals food from stores and when he was caught the welfare agents blame his mother Louise. They made an excuse calling her crazy for rejecting free pork because she wants to adhere to Seventh Day Adventist dietary restrictions. Social workers came and then send Louise to a mental hospital, the had to kids split up and all but the eldest two went to different foster homes. Malcolm blames the state welfare agency for robbing his mother of her dignity and breaking his family apart. Malcolm moves in with the Swerlins, a white foster family in Lansing. Although he accepts their generosity he felt as if he is feels more like a "mascot" or a pet than a human being equal to those around him. Malcolm was bright and an intelligent student. Malcolm was the first in his class at Mason Junior High and was also elected the class president. Despite his achievements Malcolm still felt unequal as those of his white classmates. One day Malcolm tells his English teacher, Mr. Ostrowski, that he wants to become a lawyer. Mr. Ostrowski responded and tells Malcolm to become a carpenter. Malcolm then realize he will never be treated the same.
Malcolm x later moved into the upstairs room in Ella's house in Roxbury, a wealthy black neighborhood in Boston. Malcolm quickly sees the difference between the lifestyles of Boston and that of Lansing. Malcolm also sees a difference between the lifestyle of the middle-class blacks who, like Ella, live in the neighborhood of Roxbury Hill. The ghetto poor blacks, who have less money and live further down the hill.
Malcolm x meets a guy called Shorty who turns out to be from Lansing as well, works at the hall racking balls and tending tables, but he is also an talented saxophonist with connections. Shorty helped Malcolm get a job at the Roseland State Ballroom, where all the big bands perform where Malcolm became a shoeshine boy. Malcolm soon learns that much of the money that was coming in comes from selling alcohol and marijuana, and acting as for black pimps and white customers. Malcolm begins enter the lifestyle of sin. He will started to gamble a lot , play cards, drink, smoke, and use drugs. He also tries to straighten his hair by using "conk," a hairstyle in which one's hair which chemically straightened and flattened.
Later on Ella gets Malcolm a job as a clerk at a drugstore in Roxbury Hill. Malcolm X meets Laura at his new job. Malcolm and Laura were both good dancers, they compete in a dance-off at the Roseland, winning over the crowd and even the bandleader, the legendary Duke Ellington. Malcolm X also attracted a white woman named Sophia. Eventually Malcolm stops seeing Laura and began dating Sophia. Malcolm uses his relationship with Sophia to gain respect with his friends and to bring up his status. Malcom sister Ella found about Sophia and disapproves which resulted in him leaving and moving in with Shorty.
After that Malcolm started to sell marijuana to New York's jazz musicians. Malcolm has to move weekly and make smart decisions to avoid being arrested on planted evidence. He later becomes addicted to the drugs he is supposed to be selling, and sometimes has to borrow money from his friend Sammy just to eat.
In Boston, Shorty and Ella was apalled of the transformation of Malcolm, now edgy and foulmouthed from doing the wrong things . Malcolm takes a few weeks to calm down from the pressure of his situation in Harlem, at first only sleeping, smoking marijuana, and playing records. Malcolm begins to do cocaine again and talks to Shorty and Sophia about future plans on how to make some money.
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When police arrest Malcolm in a pawnshop, he gives himself up peacefully. Malcolm was being charged for burglary and what made it worse that he was associated with white woman. The judge sentences him to ten years in state prison. He was sent to Massachusetts's state prison.
While Malcolm was in prison he first hears about the Nation of Islam from his family his brother Reginald's asked him to give pork, this was Malcolm s first step toward becoming a Muslim. Reginald tells him about the Nation of Islam's and its leader, Elijah Muhammad, whose central teaching are that the white is the devil.
In prison, he began studying the teachings of the Lost and Found nation of Islam. The Muslim organization was founded by Wallace Fard and led by Elijah Muhammad (Elijah Poole). While deciding whether to convert, Malcolm thinks of all the white people he has ever known. He remembers the social workers who split up his family, the teacher who discouraged him from becoming a lawyer, and his customers when he worked as a porter and a pimp. He also considers the white policemen, judge, and guards who have conspired to lock him away. Every one of these people, he reflects, has done him harm.
Malcolm accepts the Nation of Islam's principles. According to Elijah Muhammad, the first humans were black, living peacefully under Allah in Mecca. Then, a mad scientist named Mr. Yacub unleashed an evil race of white people on Europe who conspired to abuse nonwhites for 6,000 years. Elijah Muhammad teaches that black people were stolen from Africa, sold into bondage, and finally brainwashed. White people forced them to adopt the names, customs, myths, and god of their masters. Now, however, white civilization is destroying itself.
To improve his writing skills, Malcolm slowly copies out the whole dictionary longhand, starting with the word "aardvark." With an expanded vocabulary, he begins to read voraciously, staying up half the night to study in his cell. He says that reading awakens his "long dormant craving to be mentally alive." Malcolm soon develops a system of beliefs that has Africa at its center. From reputable sources he learns that the first men and the great early civilizations were African, that the pharaohs were Africans, and that the great Western storyteller Aesop was an African.
The prison's debate program introduces Malcolm to public speaking. He almost always finds a way to work the idea of race into his arguments, whether they are about military service or Shakespeare. Debate teaches him rhetorical skills he later uses to earn converts to the Nation of Islam.
Reginald is suspended from the Nation of Islam for sleeping with a secretary. After Elijah Muhammad appears to Malcolm in a silent vision, Malcolm disowns Reginald and for the first time feels a stronger bond to his faith than to his family. Reginald goes insane, and Malcolm comes to believe that Allah is punishing Reginald for his sins. Malcolm continues to seek converts to Islam among his fellow prisoners.
Upon his release in 1952 he renamed himself Malcolm X, symbolically repudiating the "white man's name." As a devoted follower of Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X rose quickly within the NOI ranks, serving as minister of Harlem's Temple No. 7 in 1954, and later ministering to temples in Detroit and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
In 1957, Malcolm found the NOI newspaper, Muhammad Speaks. Malcolm X helped put the Nation of Islam on the map. Malcolm was criticized by other activist and from the white society. They called him violent, fascist, and a racist. Malcolm was not really a violent person but he believes in self-defense. He believed that people should protect the dignity of the African American. People claimed that the Nation of Islam don't believe in integration but separation. Malcom X said, "It is not integration that Negroes in America want, it is human dignity."
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Beginning in the 1960s, Malcolm was invited to participate in numerous debates, including forums on radio stations in Los Angeles, New York, Washington. He was invited to universities, such as, Harvard Law School, Howard University, Columbia University. Also, Television programs like "Open Mind," "The Mike Wallace News Program".
Malcolm claims that he is not a racist. Also Malcolm stated, "I am not a racist. I am against every form of racism and segregation, every form of discrimination. I believe in human beings, and that all human beings should be respected as such, regardless of their color." Malcolm believes in respect and pride. Malcolm would like for all people to be treated as human beings despite their differences.
Malcolm preached, "Who taught you to hate the color of your skin? Who taught you to hate the texture of your hair? Who taught you to hate the shape of your nose and the shape of your lips? Who taught you to hate yourself from the top of your head to the soles of your feet? Who taught you to hate your own kind?" Malcolm accuses the whites to develop hate between the blacks. Malcolm also accuses the whites for making blacks look down at themselves. Malcolm blames the whites for making blacks to hate themselves. Then Malcolm later preached, "Before you come asking Mr. Muhammad does he teach hate, you should ask yourself who taught you to hate being what God made you?" Malcolm was trying to say that Elijah Muhammad does not teach hate but teaches pride, dignity and to respect for each other.
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