No one really knows what kind of impact Malcolm X would have had on history if he had not been assassinated. His beliefs and philosophy did gain him a place in history as one of the best-known Black Nationalist Leaders. Everyone seems to have known who Malcolm X was, and he ranks high with all other Black leaders. His ideas were radical and he was very out spoken. He was a major force in the development of black history. He fought not only for his people but also for all oppressed people everywhere. He was well spoken and he laid the groundwork for the black power movement of the late l960’s.
Malcolm X was born on May 19, l925 to Rev. Earl and Louise Little in Omaha, Nebraska. Malcolm Little developed his own ideas and philosophies because of the many events that took place in his life. These events mostly tragic, created the path that Malcolm would travel. His father was his main influence. He was a Baptist minister who believed in freedom and equal rights for black people. He wanted a black nation in America and went underground with secret meetings to further these ideas. Sadly, when Malcolm was six years old, his father was murdered. After the murder his mother was institutionalized and all of the children went to live with neighbors. Malcolm decided to go on with his life an attended a white school. However, he soon realized that he was still treated unequally with whites because he was black.
After leaving school Malcolm eventually went to live with his sister Ella in Boston. His whole life was a battle against prejudices and segregation. This was the manner at that time. Everything he ever had seemed to be lost because he was black. He lived a tough life. He stole, pimped, and was addicted to drugs especially cocaine. He would go back and forth between Boston and Harlem to do these things. He was involved with a robbery ring that included two white women. He eventually got caught and because he was black with white women, was sentenced to more time than he should have received. At age 21, he was sentenced to prison for ten years.
It was in prison that he was first introduced to the Nation Of Islam and its leader Elijah Muhammad. His brother, Reginald and Philbert brought him books to read. Malcolm was so fascinated that he read anything he could get his hands on especially about the Nation of Islam. He especially enjoyed reading about religion, race and world history. He even wrote to Elijah Muhammad, and Elijah wrote back. Malcolm became very well spoken and thoughtful, he was always intelligent. Malcolm completely turned his life around; he started living by the Islamic rules. He did not smoke, swear, drink, eat pork, gamble, cheat or do drugs. He was released from prison after 7 years and went to live with his brother, Wilfred in Detroit. Malcolm became Malcolm X symbolizing an unknown tribal name.
Malcolm had joined the Nation of Islam and became their spokesman and went to the streets for black converts. His only concern was to change the condition of his people who were victimized by social injustice and institutionalized racism. He became minister of his own temple in 1954. He married Sister Betty X, a nurse in 1958. He was quickly becoming one of the most influential leaders in the Nation Of Islam. He even developed the newspaper,”Muhammed Speaks.” He broke from the Nation in 1963 when he learned of Elijah’s mistakes. Elijah had been having affairs with his secretaries, which went against Muslin law. Malcolm did confront him and Elijah confirmed these rumors. The break was bitter. In fact, Malcolm had to be quiet for a number of months because he had made public what Elijah had done. This hurt Malcolm personally. In l964, he formed the Organization of Afro America Unity. Some members of the Nation followed him. In l963, he made his visit according to Muslim teachings to Mecca. This is a city in the Middle East. This pilgrimage changed his view on religion and how to approach problems of racism and oppressed blacks in America. He found