Essay Example on In his early life Malcolm became an influential Leader

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In his early life Malcolm became an influential leader of the Nation of Islam which combined Islam with black nationalism and helped to empower disadvantaged blacks searching for equality in segregated America Starting in 1946 at the age of twenty Malcolm X was sentenced to ten years in prison for burglary after becoming involved in hustling and other criminal activities in Boston and New York While in prison he began to transform his life educating himself by reading books on history philosophy and religion In prison his brother Reginald visited him and informed Malcolm about the Black Muslims The Black Muslims were an Islamic religious organization whose leader was Elijah Muhammad at the time X took interest in the religion and converted putting himself on a course to become a minister He was released from prison at age 27 after serving 6 years Soon after Malcolm joined the fellowship of the Nation of Islam Community in Detroit and began going on recruiting expeditions X has been said to have single handedly tripled membership in Temple Number One within a few months of his efforts In December 1953 a little more than a year after he was paroled from prison Malcolm was named the minister at the NOI s Boston mosque Temple No 11 The following year he also became the minister at Temple No 12 Philadelphia and Temple No 7 New York Malcolm then began traveling to the West Coast to head more temples 



By the 1950s Islam became a powerful presence in the ghettos of the U S s largest cities thanks largely to X s energy and hard work He encouraged his audiences to use rational thinking and find clear headed solutions to their problems and racial tensions as well as criticized nonviolent protest methods as they usually required blacks to risk their bodies and lives While he didn t advocate for violent protest methods he did call for blacks to defend themselves when attacked Malcolm s more militant ideas attracted advocates from the ghettos who held rallies on the streets of Harlem In 1961 X founded Muhammed Speaks the official journal of Islam under X which became one of the most widely spread newspapers produced by a black organization Starting in the 1960s Malcolm was requested to take part in numerous debates television programs and give speeches at universities By 1963 Malcolm X was reported as the second most wanted speaker in the United States by the New York Times In 1963 Malcolm lead one of America s largest civil rights rallies the Unity Rally in Harlem Malcolm s declaration that President John F Kennedy s assassination was the chickens coming home to roost as well as his untraditional preaching style ultimately led to his suspension from the Black Muslims in December 1963 X then permanently left the Islam movement in 1964 based on their general neutrality in the involvement of confronting racism and he announced the formation of the Muslim Mosque soon after Malcolm then traveled to Mecca giving speeches and meeting with Arab officials and scholars There he discovered that orthodox Muslims preach equality of the races which led him to abandon his claims of black superiority Having returned to America as El Hajj Malik El Shabazz he remained convinced that racism had impaired the essence of America In 1964 he formed the Organization of African American Unity and returned to Africa While there Malcolm was accorded observer status at the Heads of States Summit Conference at the OAU and made a presentation about the importance of aiding struggles of Africans and African Americans and the conference passed a resolution deploring racism in the United States

When X returned to the U S he continued to seek support for issue of American racism before the World Court and United Nations advocating for the political and economic control of black communities by African Americans Also in 1964 Malcolm delivered The Ballot or the Bullet at Cory Methodist Church in Cleveland Ohio In this speech he described how powerful a weapon the ballot could be if it was exercised with care saying A ballot is like a bullet You don t throw your ballots until you see a target and if that target is not within your reach keep your ballot in your pocket Malcolm also said that the proper step in fighting racism was to elevate the struggle of African Americans from one of civil rights to one of human rights A fight for civil rights was a internal issue and no one from the outside world can speak out in your behalf as long as your struggle is a civil rights struggle Soon after this Malcolm s autobiography was published In 1965 Malcolm s House was firebombed He and his family survived but their home was burned to the ground and no one was charged with any crime Right after beginning of the address at the Audubon Ballroom at 3 10 pm X was shot several times and was pronounced dead on arrival at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital Three Black Muslims were later convicted of the murder In conclusion Malcolm X was a figure of great significance in advancing civil rights in the United States Malcolm became an influential leader of the Nation of Islam initially combining Islam with black nationalism and helped to empower disadvantaged blacks searching for equality in segregated America Through the bold teachings of Malcolm X African Americans gained a greater awareness of the horrific atrocities committed against them by whites throughout the history of America and specifically during the civil rights movement Issues such as racial violence and inequality were exposed by the teachings of the Nation of Islam positively impacting the civil rights movement as well as educating many others Malcolm X provided a tenacious example to African Americans of someone who was willing to defend the basic rights of the race


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