Malcolm X Early Years: external image malcolmX.jpg
Malcolm X/Little was born in 1925 in Omaha, Nebraska to Earl and Louise Little. Earl Little was an outspoken Baptist Lay speaker who heavily supported an organization called UNIA.UNIA stood for Universal Negro Improvement Association and was a large enemy of the KKK because of their very influential and motivating acts to try to educate and advance the black community. The devotion and support that Earl Little put into the UNIA had a very big impact on Malcolm from an early age and the issues of skin color stereotyping took on very significant implications later on. In December 1924, Louise Little was threatened by the KKK to leave Omaha because of the "trouble" Earl was spreading in the UNIA. A year later the Little's relocated to Lansing, Michigan and shortly after the move Earl Little was run over by a car. Authorities reported the incident as an accident but the community disputed the cause of his death hevily. They said that the Black Legion, a white supremacist group, had killed him because of his history with the UNIA. Even though the Little's had two life insurance policies they were only able to get money from one of them, making Louise go into a nervous breakdown and later a mental hospital. Malcolm continues his studies even after his mother's breakdown and was one of the top students in his class. But in 8th he dropped out after his dreams of becoming a lawyer were crushed by his white teacher when she told him "no realistic goal for a nigger." By 1943 Malcolm moved to Harlem, New York City and became involved in drug dealing, gambling, robbery, and steering prostitution to pay the bills. On January 12, 1946 he was arrested for a burglary. His trial was quick and he was charged with breaking and entering and larceny. He was sentanced to ten years in Massachusetts State Prison. While there he met an inmate named John Bembry who convinced him to get educated. Once released after serving his sentence a much different more educated man with high ambitions arose with a new view on life. He became a very high believer in the fact that education could get you far in life and that it was the time you spent now that would affect you in the future.


Joining the Nation of Islam

After being released from prison, Little visited Elijah Muhammed because of some of the good things he had heard about the islamic religion from his brother. Soon after he changed his name from Malcolm Little to Malcolm X. The X in his name represents the true African family name that he could never know because of the years of slavery forced upon blacks in the 1800's. For Malcolm the X replaced the white slavemaster name of Little which was placed on his bloodline for the purpose of symbolizing ownership. Malcolm rapidly gained rank in the Nation of Islam and eventually became assisstent minister of the Nation of Islam's Temple Number One. Malcolm started to teach about the evil that white men have done and how their race was doomed. He even proposed total seperation from white poeple and that start of a new nation fonly for black's. He also said that black people are superior to white people which was very controversial at the time. He was also not in favor for the Civil Right's Movenment strategy of non-violence. He believed that black people should use any means of self-defense necessary to defend themselves. He was not very impressed with the Civil Rights Movement and was quoted saying that the leaders of the movement were"stooges" and that Martin Luther King was a "chump." He was also not very impressed with the March on Washington calling it the "Farce on Washington."

external image 800px-Nation_of_Islam_flag.svg.png


This clip is an interview of Malcolm Little on the reason of him changing his last name to X and his decision to join the Nation of Islam.

This next clip is a clip from Malcolm X's speech "By Any Means Necessary". This speech shows the difference of Malcolm X to the Civil Rights Movement. He explains his belief that it is their right to be able to defend themselves when attacked because they are given that right through the Constitution. This is different from the Civil Rights Movement because they believed in a non-violent answer to the problem.


Leaving the Nation of Islam

On March 8, 1964, Malcolm X announced that he was going to break away from the Nation of Islam. He did clarify that he still was muslim but that he believed that the Nation of Islam had gone as far as it could because of its strict religous teachings. Malcolm X wanted to organize his own black nationalist organization that would try to "heighten the political conciousness." of all African Americans. Another reason for Malcom's break from the Nation of Islam was believed to be his growing tension with Elijah Muhammad because of the dismay he had over rumors circulating about Muhammad's extramarital affairs with young secretaries.

Malcolm's Assassination
On February 21, 1965 Malcolm X began to speak to a meeting of the Afro-American Unity in Manhattan's Audubon Ballroom. The Afro-American Unity was an organization the organization that Malcolm created after leaving the Nation of Islam. The speech was going well until an outburst erupted from the crowd of 400 people. A man in the crowd yelled "Nigger! Get your hand outta my pocket!" When Malcolm X and his bodyguards went down to quiet the disturbance Malcolm was shot in the chest by a sawed off shotgun. Then two other men rushed the stage shooting him 16 more times with hand guns. Malcolm X was pronounced dead soon after he arrived at Columbia Prebyterian Hospital. The assassination was said to have been ordered by the Nation of Islam. Thomas Hagan, Norman Butler, and Thomas Johnson were all arrested for the assassination of Malcolm X and they were all part of the Nation of Islam. Malcolm X's attempts of freeing Black Americans from white people in short term was not very effective but with the help of the Civil Rights Movement the attampts of Malcolm were an overall success!

external image MalcolmX.jpg Dylan Harrison