The Evolution of Malcolm X Donelle Harris DeVry University Professor Gardner 10/14/11 The Evolution of Malcolm X Malcolm X is my role model because of the adversity he had to overcome and the profound effect he had on Black America and society as a whole. Malcolm Little was born May 19, 1925 in a hospital in Omaha, NE. (Autobiography of Malcolm X, by Alex Haley, p. 2, phg. 3). He was one of eight children of Earl and Louise Little. His father was a Preacher and an organizer for Marcus Garvey’s U. N. I. A. (Universal Negro Improvement Association) (Autobiography of Malcolm X, by Alex Haley, p. 1, ph. 2).
When Malcolm Little was six years old his father was killed by a local white supremacist group called the Black Legion in Lansing, Michigan, after the death of his father his family fell on hard times. It became overwhelming for his mother and she had a nervous breakdown. She was sent to the State Mental Hospital of Kalamazoo ( Autobiography of Malcolm X, by Alex Haley, p. 21, ph. 5). The children became wards of the state of Michigan and were split up. Malcolm Little later moved in with his older sister Ella in Roxbury, Mass, in the summer of 1940 (Autobiography of Malcolm X, by Alex Haley, p. 35, ph. 6).
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This was the being of the next stage of his life. He started hanging out in the streets of Boston; he became involved in petty theft, drugs and a variety of other crimes. He became too much to handle for his sister so he moved out and later moved to Harlem, NY with his street buddy by the name of Shorty. They stayed in and out of trouble. He became a street hustler and a numbers runner for a local gangster by the name of West Indian Archie. He was accused of stealing and had to leave Harlem or he would have been killed. He moved back to Boston with his friend Shorty and became burglars, which landed him in prison.
He was sentenced to 10 years for burglary and sent to Charleston State Prison February 1946, he was not quit 21 ( Autobiography of Malcolm X, by Alex Haley, p. 155, ph. 2). In prison he meets a man by the name of “Bimby” who toke an interest in him and taught him how to read and write. This stimulated his thirst for knowledge; he spent most of his time in the prison library reading all types of books. In 1948 he was transferred to Concord Prison, while there his brother Philbert introduced him to the Nation of Islam (NOI) (Autobiography of Malcolm X, by Alex Haley, p. 58, ph. 3). He later began correspondence with the leader Elijah Muhammad, and through these correspondences he a later became a Minister for the Nation of Islam and changed his name to Malcolm X. He started making speeches to the public to recruit members and with his increased popularity in the NOI Elijah Muhammad made him the national spokesman for the NOI. In 1963 Malcolm X found out that Elijah Muhammad slept with and father several children from his various secretaries. (Autobiography of Malcolm X, by Alex Haley, p. 301, ph. ) This shock Malcolm X to his core because his mentor always preached about the sin of infidelity and that the punishment was banishment from the NOI, and to know that his mentor did not practice what he preached he started questioning everything he believed in to this point. When the assassination of President Kennedy happened he was asked by a reporter in the airport in front of a camera what he thought of the death of the president, and he said it was a case of “The chicken’s coming home to Roost”. (Autobiography of Malcolm X, by Alex Haley, p. 307, ph. ) After that comment the NOI distanced itself from Malcolm X . After being ostracized from the Nation of Islam he decided to do the “Hajj” which is one of the most sacred things an orthodox Muslim can do, it is a pilgrimage to Mecca. This was a profound turning point in his life after coming back from his pilgrimage; he found out that Muslim came in all nationalities not just blacks. He changed his views on race and nonviolence. He started his own organization the Organization of African American Unity (OAAU) and changed his name to “El Hajj Malik El Shabazz”.
The OAAU’s doctrine was to unify Black Americans through education, reorientation, restoration, and economic security. On February 21, 1965 one week after his home was fire bombed, Malcolm X was shot to death by members of the NOI while at a rally of his organization OAAU in New York City (www. thisdayinhistory. com, ph. 7) Throughout Malcolm X’s life he had to deal with adversity from the death of his father and the removal of his mother to being in prison, all those experiences made him stronger.
He became one of the most influential African American of his time. I can only hope to aspire to his level. I never let anything get me down, I am always trying to increase my knowledge and treat people the way would want to be treated. When I finally past from this world to the next I hope people remember me as good man great father and husband, and that I lived life to the fullest and made a difference in people’s lives. Reference List: Autobiography of Malcolm X, by Alex Haley www. thisdayinhistory. com