Malcolm X Black nationalist, freedom fighter


Malcolm X grew up knowing there was racism and inequality. He was surrounded by White supremacist groups who ended up killing his father. He was left with a mother who refused to eat animals, and her mental state deteriorated by the lack of support, which had her taken away to a mental hospital. As he went to school, his teachers never expected anything from him and called him derogatory terms because it was the norm.

As he grew older, he became one of the most known men to fight for civil, black and human rights. He became known as man for his intelligence. He became known for his will, his strength and determination to fight for justice.

He was a man who fought and stood up for himself. He was known for his outrageous and shocking statements even when he no longer called white people devils. He never took anything lying down, however rather than attack other individuals, he'd use his intelligence to his advantage. Believing in fighting your own battles was the only way to earn your self-respect, which simultaneously ears the respect from the "white man".

He constantly tried to learn new things and bring awareness to what he was fighting for; black rights. Malcolm X had spoke loudly about things many whites and blacks try to ignore, he refused to stop until there was justice. Malcolm X was never the type to ignore things, he always made the effort to have the public aware of the things they were doing, be it blacks ignoring their own culture or whites perpetuating their superiority towards blacks. He always fought for equality, and during his time period he was known as devil himself, as time as went on, he is now known as the martyr for black and human rights towards the people.

Malcolm X was a man who is not afraid of persecution without defending himself first. He'd rather die believing in what he fought for than live in silence for never having done anything.

Historical Context

During the 1960's, where Malcolm X was most active, and it was also the time where a majority of civil rights leaders were active. Such leaders like Martin Luther King. Jr was around and promoting for integration while Malcolm X promoted for segregation. It was during the prohibition era where alcohol was banned, where many individuals had made their own alcohol, ignoring the law. There was a rampant use of drugs and gambling to which many called "hustling", similar to thieving. The police would also find any reason to search a black person just to beat them and wrongfully, incarcerate them.

The law to end segregation was passed during this time, however many individuals still refused to integrate, especially in schools. Many black individuals still had low paying jobs, and those who were considered in a high status position- Malcolm X would refer to them as Uncle Toms, because they refuse to fight back against the white man, and try to ignore all the racism and injustices going on within the country.

Referring to the quote, "All men are created equal under God." in regards to African Americans who are treated as less of a person.
"I had been strongly aware of how the Black Nationalist political, economic and social philosophies... the black race needs today to get up off its knees, and to get on its feet, and get rid of its scars, and to take a stand for itself"

(Malcolm X 1965).

The Issues

When Malcolm X was most active during the 1960's, he fought for thing like equality within society, but mainly issues like race, religion and the working class. Malcolm X was accustomed to such issues as a child, however, he was ignorant of them. As time went on, he learns how society should be and how others should be treated in the world. It created a basis point of the what he stood for; Respect.

He fought for racial equality, injustice, and fairness. "After he split with Muhammad and made a pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia (the holiest city of Islam)... but remained committed to black unity, power, and pride". Even as he had left a foundation that has supported him, he still continued to influence millions of people through his speeches. Especially have his pilgrimage to Mecca, he now abandoned the idea of segregation and tried to develop new ideas for integration within an already black and white society. By promoting for unity instead of separation, he continued to promote for black power which increases their self- respect which has others respect them as well. Having that brotherhood he witnessed in Mecca.

He fought for others in a new found expression and image of respect. "I was trying to gradually reshape that image... especially Negroes; I was no less angry than I had been, but at the same time the true brotherhood... had influenced me to recognize that anger can blind human vision." Before his travels to Mecca he never trusted anyone who was considered white. After Mecca, he continues to carry that angry, however, he used to promote for togetherness and educate others on a new way for integration. By using anger instead for the passion of promoting human rights, generates more followers and a larger impact on communities.

He rejected the idea of anyone on a higher status and considered everyone equal under his God of Islam, Allah, "True Islam taught me that it takes all of the religious, political, economic, psychological, and racial ingredients, or characteristics, to make the Human Family and the Human Society complete". Rather than continue to ignore others form of expression and individuality, Malcolm X had tried to accept them. Mecca had a large impact on his values and beliefs, specifically towards others. It taught him that there is no single religion, fight, or cause that is right. The problem is the same for all, race, religion and status, without unity, there is no progress.

In the video watch it from 3:33 to the end.

"Whether you are a Christian, a Muslim or a Nationalist, we all have the same problem"

(Malcolm x, 1999).


The first graph is the rates between Black, Hispanic, Asian and White of poverty comparison from the 1960's to 2011. In regards to the timeline, there has been no significant change in the poverty rates of the minority groups within society, especially within the Black community.

The second graph is the rates of White, Black and Hispanic races of incarceration compared from 1960 to 2010. The bar graph shows that there has been a dramatic increase in incarceration rates in the Black community. The rates remaining high in the Black community from the 1960's and in 2010.

In the video watch it from 0.27s to 2:40

Leadership Characteristics

Throughout his life, he has gained many followers due to his characteristics as a leader and passion for his fight for justice.

He was focused and strong willed when it involved fighting for equality by influencing others for his cause. "Malcolm X said to hell with that! Get up off your knees and fight your own battles. That's the way to win your self-respect... If he won't let you live like a man, he certainly can't keep you from dying like one!". Rather than sitting down and doing nothing, Malcolm X refused to lie back and wait for justice to come. Through his speeches and talks, he tried to inspire others to get up and fight and realize the injustice that is around them. He believed in nothing coming to those who wait and had others do the same. If an entire community does not respect themselves, then the majority discriminating them, will never respect them.

He also was unyielding to many of other criticism and hatred towards his fight for equality. "... priestly in his bearing and his private life, warm and witty in company, gallant toward white people even in the days when he considered them universally and irremediably evil. But given a platform and a microphone, he became a pitiless scold." He ignores others and focused on what was his priority; justice for others. Being brought to many talk shows, radio broadcasts, he still continued to promote The Nation of Islam and stand by his beliefs. Turning a blind eye towards the hate, he continued to share his thoughts and ideas, which generated more followers to the cause.

Finally, he was honest in his ways to communicate his ideas and express his thoughts for equal rights amongst society. "I never doubted that Malcolm X, even when he was wrong, was always the rarest thing in the world among us Negroes: a true man". Many leaders have lied in the past, but Malcolm X seemed almost free of them. He laid out all of his flaws and owned up to them, never denying what he has claimed or said towards anyone. He only spoke the truth, even if he disagreed with what that truth is. Lies only generated false hope, which was something Malcolm X did not stand by. Honesty helps many develop trust, and with trust comes that idea and objective of unity within society.

Malcolm X was a catalyst for change because of unrelenting strive for justice for everyone. Though his intentions have seemed controversial, he still strived for equality. He was a martyr for his people even up to his death.


Created By
Liliana Plancarte

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