After the World Wars when minorities returned from serving their countries, they had realized that nothing change. Minorities veterans still received unequal discriminative treatment triggering a rise of civil rights movements during the time between 1950s – 1965s calling it “The Decade of Prosperity and Protest.” Many historical leaders arose during this decade such as Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and Betty Friedman. Among those leaders was Malcom X who was a civil right activist that advocated black pride and preached the religion of Islam. Malcom was a leader that worked for the goal of all African Americans to be treated with equal respect and dignity from races all over the world.
It always seemed to run in Malcom blood to advocate for black right’s considering his father was also a preacher for black nationalist ideas. When his father was brutally murdered by a white supremacist group called Black Legion its open Malcom eyes to the atrocities among the people compelling him to continue spread his father ideology. Along his journey promoting black rights Malcom came across the teaching of Elijah Muhammad resulting in his membership in The Nation of Islam. Which were an African American organization that preached of racial unity and self-help. During 1964 Malcom X left the Nation of Islam creating his own organization Muslim Mosque (MO) and The Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU). The Muslim Mosque Incorporated was made under the religious base of Islam with the goal to eradicate vices and evil that threatened the black community. This religious organization wanted to have complete separation from anyone who was not black and have the necessity given to them in order to survival. These necessities included food, better jobs, places to sleep, and complete political control in order to prevent outsider’s influences. These beliefs changed when Malcolm embarked on a pilgrimage changing his philosophy on how he perceived white people allowing white people to join the holy city of Mecca. Then there is “The Organization of Afro-American Unity” which concentrated on African Americans to reconnect with their heritage past from Africa itself. The OAAU were strongly focused on repairing the reparations from slavery, lynching, and discrimination they made sure have only African Americans citizens could maintain control over the organization. He established a program called “The Basic Unity Program” which focused on education, restoration, and economic security to encourage pan-African unity. Gifted with a captivating charisma Malcom created a reasonable following bestowing him with the duty of becoming the ringleader for both of his organization including becoming a prime minister for the mosque.
Malcom X was a visionary man concentrated on a radical view to achieve his ambitions of having a complete estrangement from America for all African Americans. While Malcolm was willing to use whatever means necessary to reach his goal other activist seemed to be against his methods. It was well known during the sixties that Martin Luther King Jr and Malcom X did not share the same methods of black equality often speaking of on another with negative animosity. Using a more civil approach Martin Luther form of protest included civil disobedience and boycotts. Some of his notable accomplishments would be his “I have a dream speech” and the Freedom Riders which all advocated for equal rights. Martin Luther ideals seemed to stand on the road encouraging integration and continuing peaceful protest. Often upsetting Malcom because he dislikes his ideals thinking integration is just another form of inferiority to white people. Which is why he would suggest using weapons and violence as a mean of protest for African American separation because they are standing up for their rights instead of allowing white people to control them again. Despite his aggressive form of protest Malcom mostly relied on his charismatic charm and high intelligence as a strategy to influence people on his ideals. He would speak out on street corners gathering rallies along with using his organizations to connect with other African Americans. Malcom X was a man that spoke until everything he needs to say had been said a never-ending restless speaker. Although he was a prominent man does not mean he was without flaws. It had been known for Malcom to fight more on the dirtier side during debates if situation arise. Often using personal information from his opponents to devaluate their capability paving a way for him to get his point across and possibly winning the argument. He was a cunning man that really stuck to his beliefs to do whatever means necessary in order to get the job done creating many enemies for him during this decade.
In the beginning it seemed Malcom was quite successful in his goal for African American separation he had promising number of followers, established two corporations for his movements, and was only growing more recognition. Yes, Malcom was an influential civil rights leader, but he crossed the paths of one too many people that ultimately created his demised resulting in his assassination on February 21, 1965. The first altercation began with a firebombed of his home in the Queens causing his family to be homeless the following week before his speech at Audubon Ballroom he was shot to death. The outcomes from Malcom assassination stopped the spread of his ideals ending the rally of his movements. While many mourned the life of Malcom X touching the lives of fourteen thousand people all who attended his funeral. It simply was not enough to continue the light that Malcom had paved for the people in the black community. After Malcom assassination his two corporation Muslim Mosque and OOAU were still too young to run without their leader so it eventually crumbled losing it value. Although some might strongly believe in his ideals today and possibly preach his way of life it is unfortunately decided that it was ultimately unsuccessful movements. Thus, the core of Malcolm factions was deserted with no-one to continue with what had been left. Since his goal was to separate all African Americans from white people had been defeated by Martin Luther desire for integration. Fast forwarding to the future where African American and white people lives in the same country sharing the same government, education, and justice system everything Malcom advocated against proves how unsuccessful he was in accomplishing his goal. Even though Malcom was not able to follow through with his aspirations he did touch the lives of thousands across the world all who admired him. He was able to bring awareness to what he believed in and in what the thoughts was right for that he was partially successful in achieving his goal.
In conclusion, Malcom X was an influential man that will forever be known in history. Being the first of African American Muslim prime minister who was a know civil right activist with an ambitious goal to separate African Americans from the United States and return to their origins in Africa. He did whatever he can to accomplish this goal if it resorted to violence, protest, or dirty tricks to manifest his aspirations. Even started his own movements to spread more awareness to his cause even if it meant death for him. Leaving Malcom to be a unforgettable man who will continue to inspire for the years to come.
“Biography.” Malcolm X, www.malcolmx.com/biography/.
- History.com Editors. “Malcolm X.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 29 Oct. 2009, www.history.com/topics/black-history/malcolm-x.
- “Malcolm X Assassinated.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 24 Nov. 2009, www.history.com/this-day-in-history/malcolm-x-assassinated.
- “Malcolm X Organization of Afro‐American Unity.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 10 Aug. 1964, www.nytimes.com/1964/08/10/archives/malcolm-x-organization-of-afroamerican-unity.html.
- “Muslim Mosque Incorporated (MMI) FBI File (1964).” Taylor & Francis, www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10999941003784961?journalCode=usou20.
- Nittle, Nadra Kareem. “How Are Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X Alike?” ThoughtCo, ThoughtCo, 8 May 2019, www.thoughtco.com/similarities-between-mlk-and-malcolm-x-2834881.