Malcolm X was born with the name Malcolm Little, in Omaha, Nebraska on May 19, 1925. Malcolm was a very bright student through grade school, graduating near the top of his class as an eight grader. When one of Malcolm's favorite teachers told him his dream of becoming a lawyer was "No realistic goal for a nigger" consequently, Malcolm lost interest in school . Malcolm then moved to Boston, Mass. working odd jobs, and having a good time. By 1942 Malcolm was participating in drugs, prostitution, and gambling in the New York area. Eventually Malcolm and his buddy, Malcolm "Shorty" Jarvis, moved back to Boston, where they were arrested and convicted on burglary charges in 1946. Malcolm refers to this time of his life as the "Detroit Red" years. Detroit Red was a drug dealing criminal who was a danger to himself and to the black community. During his seven years in prison Malcolm would educate himself, by studying the teachings of Elijah Muhammad, leader of the Nation of Islam (NOI). Malcolm's brother Reginald would visit frequently to discuss his conversations with Muslim religious organizations. By the end of his prison term Malcolm took on the surname X too show his devotion to the NOI and to get rid of his slave name "Little".
Malcolm was born into a very strong family, but it was destroyed by racism. Earl Little, Malcolm's father was a black minister and devoted supporter of black nationalistic leader Marcus Garvey. Malcolm's mother was a house mom, who stayed home to watch their eight children. Due to Earl's commitment to Black Nationalism the family had to move due to death threats on the dad. In 1929 Earl's house was burnt to the ground, the attacks are believed to have come from a white supremacist group Black Legion. Two years latter Earl's body was found across town dead. Shortly after the death of Malcolm's dad his mom had a mental breakdown and was committed to a mental help center. Since both parents were gone the eight brothers and sisters spilt up and went to different group homes and foster care institutions.
Having to deal with racism, crime, street life, and jail as a child Malcolm was forced to grow up fast. By educating himself, possessing great charisma and passion for blacks Malcolm X was a perfect choice to be spokesman for the NOI. Intelligent, articulate, Malcolm was appointed a minister and national spokesman for the Nation of Islam. Being from a home where the dad was active in propelling black rights and experiencing the intensity of the conflict, Malcolm X became very active, very fast. Malcolm soon became a leader of the civil rights movement of the sixties. Malcolm X reached his greatest level of leadership in the 1960's. He was the ideological leader for the Black Radicalism. Context
Malcolm had a hatred for evil people and in his eyes every white man was a white devil. Malcolm's views differed from those of Martin Luther King (MLK), Malcolm believed in Black Nationalism, the belief that black people shouldn't have to integrate, they should separate. Black's should have blacks as their political leaders, law enforcement, and have their own separate communities. Martin Luther King believed that we should all get along. Numerous times Martin Luther King spoke about being non-violent, turn the other cheek, and integration. On the other hand Malcolm X talked about meeting violence with violence, revolution, and how the white devils were to blame for the black people's misfortune. "I am a black man in a world dominated by white oppression, and that is my total philosophy." Malcolm X and Martin Luther King never ended up ever talking to each other. It is believed that it would have been detrimental for Martin to be caught with Malcolm X because he was radical, and militant. Malcolm often criticized Martin Luther King on many aspects of his efforts. "Any negro who teaches other negroes to turn the other cheek in the face of an attack is disarming him...
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