"Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today." -Malcolm X


You’ve probably heard of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, but have you heard of Malcolm X? Malcolm X was also a civil rights leader, but his view was different from Dr. King’s. Malcolm wanted a separate community; he wanted change. And of course, this came with consequences, positive and negative. Today, I will be teaching you about what Malcolm x wanted, why he wanted it, the positive and negative outcomes of his actions, and why or why not he was successful.

"I'm for truth, no matter who tells it. I'm for justice, no matter who it's for or against." -Malcolm X
Malcolm X Meets Dr. King
"Wrong is wrong no matter who says it." -Malcolm X

What Malcolm X Wanted:

Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam proposed a separate black community. He didn’t think that trying to make peace with people who had brutalized blacks was the way to end segregation. Malcolm X said that America was too racist, and that the solution was complete separation. In 1963, Malcolm X gave a speech containing the following: “But the only permanent solution is complete separation or some land of our own in a country of our own. All other courses will lead to violence and bloodshed. It will lead to the destruction of America, and it will also lead to the destruction of our people who fall for it. So his message is flee for your lives and save yourselves. And I thank you.” Even though Malcolm respected Dr. King, he did not share his hopes.

"I believe in human beings, and that all human beings should be respected as such, regardless of their color." - Malcolm X
Malcolm X giving a speech.
"Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you're a man, you take it." -Malcolm X

Why Did Malcolm X Want It:

Malcolm X wanted a separate community because he saw many horrible things happen to his family and other blacks in his community. When Malcolm’s mother was pregnant with him, members of the Ku Klux Klan burned his house to the ground. Then, when Malcolm was four, he and his family moved twice because they were being harassed by whites. When Malcolm was six, his father’s dead body was found laid across the town trolley’s tracks, and Malcolm believed this to have happened because his father was a supporter of Marcus Garvey. His mother was not able to handle this and the family was separated by welfare agencies. Later when Malcolm was older, he said that whites had ‘torn his family apart.’ I mean, just think about it: if all of this happened to you family, wouldn’t you at least be upset with the person that caused you all of the trouble?

Malcolm X leads the Unity Rally in Harlem.

How Did Malcolm X Try to Get It:

Malcolm X joined several organizations to try to persuade the public to let the blacks have their own separate community. While in prison after being arrested for burglary and selling drugs, Malcolm X decided to join the Nation of Islam, a group of black Muslims, who taught that whites were a bunch of “blue-eyed devils.” While a part of the Nation of Islam, Malcolm X drove up and down the east coast, and successfully gained over 9,000 more members of the Nation of Islam, and became minister of several Harlem temples, including numbers 7 and 11. He also gave several speeches to others and explained the suffering of blacks. Malcolm X also founded a newspaper called Muhammad Speaks, which he used to gain national attention. Malcolm did not protest peacefully. He once said, ”You don't have a peaceful revolution. You don't have a turn-the-cheek revolution. There's no such thing as a nonviolent revolution.” Malcolm X formed two organizations after parting with the Nation of Islam: The Muslim Mosque and the Organization of Afro-American Unity. The OAAU [Organization of Afro-American Unity] was a Pan-Africanist organization. Their goal was to fight for the human rights of African Americans and to encourage cooperation among African Americans and descendants of African Americans in America.

In this photo, Malcolm X is interview by several reporters.
"There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains it's own seed, it's own lesson on how to improve you performance next time." -Malcolm X

Positive Outcomes:

There were many positive outcomes to Malcolm’s actions. One of them was when Malcolm was honored by statesmen when he traveled to several African nations. After Malcolm X led the Unity Rally in Harlem, and it gained him national attention because it was one of the nation’s biggest events at the time. Another thing that gained him national attention was a show produced by Mike Wallace called the Hate that Hate Produced. It was made in 1959. Malcolm X’s newspaper column called Muhammad Speaks was also a huge hit and was one of the causes of the huge increase in the number of the Nation of Islam members. Malcolm a successfully gathered over 9,000 more members for the Nation of Islam during his partnership with them.

Malcolm X

Negative Outcomes:

In addition to all of the positive outcomes, there were quite a few negative consequences. Malcolm was thrown in jail and served seven of his ten years in jail for burglary and drug dealing. Because Malcolm left the Nation of Islam, they [The Nation of Islam] took his car and house because they originally owned the two. In the winter of 1965, Malcolm received several death threats. On February 15, 1965, his house was firebombed. During one of Malcolm’s speeches, he was shot and killed. The murderers were three black Muslims, all a part of the Nation of Islam, an organization that he was once a part of. In addition to this, several bad things happened to his family when he was little; his father was murdered, his family was harassed, his family’s house was burned to the ground, and his family was torn apart.

Malcolm X is shown on this postage stamp.

Was Malcolm X successful?

Malcolm X was successful in many different ways. He gathered several new members for the Nation of Islam, as well as gaining national attention by giving speeches and leading rallies. He was also successful in ministering temples in Harlem, as well as making even more temples in Harlem. If Malcolm X was not a part of the civil rights movement, the Nation of Islam would not have as many members and there would be less attention drawn to the situation. If you’re talking about successful as in making a larger impact, that’s where I say no, he was not successful. Even though he spoke, led rallies, and protested, it was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who got his way: a community of blacks and whites living together in peace.

If you're not ready to die for it, put the word 'freedom' out of your vocabulary. " -Malcolm X

Even though Malcolm was an active civil rights leader, in the end, it was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who got his way.

Malcolm X was buried in Ferncliff Cemetery, NY
Malcolm X did so many things to try and get his way. He lead rallies, [above] he gave speeches, [lower left] and wrote newspaper articles [top left].

Links For My Sources:










Links For Photos: Turning Points in the Life of Malcolm X ...


Malcolm X's Assassination ...


Quotes: Half a century after his death ...


Harlem Freedom Rally (1960) ~ MALCOLM X


Hartsdale, NY - Ferncliff Cemetery and ...


1999 33c Malcolm X s/a for sale at ...


Malcolm X ...


Malcolm X interview (1963) – Your afro ...


Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X ...


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