“The future belongs to those who prepare for it today.” This quote by Malcolm X showed that he was ready for the future, whatever it may be. (Moncur). Malcolm X greatly affected the turn of black de-segregation in the 1950s. He had strong beliefs, suffered a gruesome assassination, and a remarkable legacy.
Malcolm Little had many strong beliefs in himself and in people all over the world. Malcolm Little educated himself, so was able to find out what he believed. For one, he changed his name from Malcolm Little to Malcolm X because X was the original surname of the slaves from whom he had descended. He insisted that Blacks had the right to protect themselves. He had always believed that violence was occasionally reasonable. Even though he was put into prison in 1946 for burglary, and got out in 1952, he was still a very significantly important person.
Malcolm X became very interested in the Nation of Islam. The Nation of Islam is based on conventional teachings, Black Nationalism, and self-help programs that helped the Blacks living in the ghettoes. He believed in and studied Elijah Muhammad, who was the leader of the Black Muslims and popularized their doctrines. He soon became a Black Muslim and as one, he encouraged other Blacks to form all-Black communities. After being a Black Muslim for awhile, he became the “Top Dog” and representative for them. On March 8, 1964, Malcolm X broke with the Nation of Islam and made a religious journey to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. In Mecca, he took the name El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz. When Malcolm broke with the Nation of Islam, he became a target for death threats and pressure.
On February 21st, Malcolm X was shot and his life was taken away from him in Harlem. No one thinks it is a coincidence the February 21st, was the first day of National Brotherhood Week. He was shot by a double-barreled shot gun and two pistols. Malcolm’s lawyer, Percy Sutton, said after he was proclaimed dead, “Malcolm knew he would be killed. He told me repeatedly-and as late as yesterday- that his life was in danger” (Finkelman). There were three men involved in the assassination of Malcolm. They were all members of the Nation of Islam. The main one who shot him in the chest was Talmadge Hayer. Hayer was born in 1943, making him twenty-two at the time of Malcolm’s death.
Earlier in his life he was detained in prison for possession of guns and disorderly conduct. He testified that his accomplices were not guilty, but they were all convicted. The Audubon Ballroom was the place where Malcolm was shot. The Audubon Ballroom adjoined a theatre found in Washington Heights, NYC. Washington Heights is in a neighborhood north of Harlem. Recently, it was obliterated to make way for the new Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, the place were Malcolm X was taken when he was shot. Everyone that walks in the doors of the Hospital will see the memorial which was placed there for Malcolm X. Malcolm X was one of the most contentious persons of the century.
He had met many people, traveled many places, and influenced many lives. Many young Black activists supported him. Malcolm X was captivating and witty, while his words gave hope to all who heard them. He was an incredible speaker and many people wished to quote him. Malcolm X once said, “How can anyone be against love?”(“Malcolm X”). I agree with him, no one can be against love. This is one of the many reasons Malcolm X supported the Blacks and helped them to believe that they had the right to be safe, the right to protect themselves, and the right to love.
Courtney from Study Moose
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