Monday, May 20, 2024

On this Day in History, May 19, Malcolm X, an icon for resisting injustice by “any means necessary”, was born

    Monday, May 20, 2024   No comments

On May 19 of every year, many Americans celebrate “Malcolm Day,” the anniversary of his birth, to honor one of the most prominent defenders of black rights in the United States during the civil rights movement in the 1960s. This day is not a federal holiday, although some are. American states and cities have made it a holiday, so who is Malcolm X?

Malcolm was born on May 19, 1925 as Malcolm Stuart Little, the fourth of eight children, in Omaha, Nebraska, and died on February 21, 1965, in New York. He was a prominent figure in the Nation of Islam. After his assassination, his life story spread widely and he became a hero among black youth.

After his birth in Nebraska, baby Malcolm moved with his family to Lansing, Michigan. During his early childhood, he and his family were exposed to racist abuse from the Ku Klux Klan, and they had to move frequently to avoid harm from this violent racist group.

When Malcolm was six, his father, Reverend Earl Little, a supporter of black leader Marcus Garvey, died after being hit by a streetcar, sparking speculation that he had been the victim of white murder.

The family was so poor that Malcolm's mother, Louise Little, resorted to cooking dandelion greens from the street to feed her children. After being admitted to a mental institution in 1939, Malcolm and his siblings were sent to foster homes or to live with family members.

Malcolm excelled in school, but after one of his teachers told him in eighth grade that he should become a carpenter instead of a lawyer, he lost interest and soon finished his formal education.

Malcolm moved from a foster home in Michigan to live with his half-sister, Ella, in Boston. There he became involved in petty criminal activities in his teenage years, becoming a street hustler, drug dealer, and leader of a gang of thieves in Roxbury and Harlem (in New York City).

While in prison for robbery from 1946 to 1952, he underwent a conversion that eventually led him to join the Nation of Islam. His decision to join the Nation was also influenced by discussions with his brother Reginald, who had become a member and who was imprisoned with Malcolm in the Norfolk Colony. In Massachusetts in 1948.

Malcolm quit smoking, gambling, and eating pork in 1948. In order to educate himself, he spent long hours reading books in the prison library. In accordance with Nation of Islam tradition, he replaced his surname "Little" with an "X", a custom among Nation of Islam followers who considered their family names to have originated from slave-owning whites.

In the early twentieth century, some Muslim religious leaders in the United States asserted that Islam was the natural religion of blacks, relying largely on accounts of African Muslims being kidnapped centuries ago and sold into slavery in the Americas.

The Nation of Islam, a movement and organization of black Americans, was founded in 1930 by Elijah Muhammad and is famous for its teachings that combine elements of traditional Islam with black nationalist ideas.

The Nation of Islam also combines religious ideas with those that denounce the suffering suffered by blacks at the hands of whites.

Malcolm rose so quickly through the ranks of the Nation of Islam that Elijah Muhammad, who had a special affection for Malcolm, appointed him spokesman for the group, second only to Muhammad himself. Under Malcolm's leadership, the Nation of Islam claimed half a million members.

Malcolm was an articulate public speaker and charismatic figure who expressed the pent-up anger, frustration and bitterness of African Americans during the civil rights movement from 1955 to 1965.

He delivered speeches in the streets of Harlem and spoke at major universities such as Harvard and Oxford. His penetrating wit and passionate radicalism made him a formidable critic of American society. He also criticized prevailing civil rights movement concepts, challenging Martin Luther King's views on coexistence and nonviolence.

Malcolm argued that issues of black identity, integrity, and independence for black people were more important than the civil right to sit in a restaurant or even to vote. In contrast to King's strategy of nonviolence and civil disobedience, Malcolm urged his followers to defend themselves "by any means necessary."

He also disagreed with Martin Luther King's ambition for America to be a place where blacks and whites lived together, as Malcolm did not believe in this vision and wanted a separate nation for blacks only.


Racial segregation ended throughout the United States thanks to the efforts of the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s, of which Malcolm

Civil rights include the right to liberty, the right to education, the adult right to vote, and the right to a fair trial.

For a long time in the United States, African Americans were denied their civil rights.

Black Americans suffered from slavery and were bought and sold for money. Their life as a slave was very difficult and difficult to imagine now. Most of them were treated horribly by their white owners and had no rights at all. Many of them were forced to change their names, sometimes to the name of their owner.

Although slavery was abolished in England in 1833, and in America in 1865, blacks were still treated fairly due to segregation laws - or rules - that separated blacks from whites.

Racial segregation in the United States meant that, by law, non-white people were kept physically separated and treated poorly compared to white people.

Things like housing, hospitals, schools, transportation, and workplaces were segregated, based on the color of a person's skin.

For example, black children were not allowed to go to the same schools as white children, blacks had to sit separately on buses, and were not allowed in whites-only areas.

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