, Malcolm X advocated freedom for blacks by any means necessary. For him, even the use of violence was a viable solution to fight racial discrimination. Because of such views some people still associate Malcolm X with the Black Panther movement of the sixties which they believe was a radical and violent organization. But portraying Malcolm X simply as a violent black activist fails to represent the whole picture. It does not take into account the post-Mecca Malcolm X when he recanted his black separatism message and started to support unity among all people. When we review Malcolm Xs life from his birth to his tragic death, then we will find a courageous leader who was able to do the following: First, he was able to turn his own personal life around.
From a common criminal he became a leader of his people. Second, he was able to persuade others to what he believed in. In other words, he was a man full of charisma. Third, he was able to admit his mistakes and correct them even if meant losing his status and life. He fought for what he believed in which was justice, and he was not afraid to reverse his ideas when he found them erroneous.
First of all, Malcolm X was able to turn his own personal life around. He turned all his beliefs and ways of life upside down when joining the Nation of Islam. Before joining the nation of Islam, he was a hustler who tried to earn enough money for his excessive life style. He was selfish and lost all his conscience. He did not fear any other people or death and used every kind of drugs. Although he hated the whites, he felt inferior and wanted to be like them.
Because of this he straightened his hair and had a white girlfriend. He lived a life of crime, forming his own house robbing gang. He was arrested for robbery in February 1946, and sentenced to prison for seven years. When he was in prison, he had a prejudice against the Christian religion that he thought was a tool of the white society to keep the Negroes down. This led him to the perception that there must be a religion for the black people. His rebellious nature was not formed without any cause.
He had reasons to his rebellious nature. The rebellious nature in Malcolm X has its beginning in the violent death of his father at the hands of white bigots. Malcolm X was born on May 19, 1925, in Omaha, Nebraska to Louise and Earl Little. Earl was a Baptist minister from Reynold, Ga. and became an organizer for Marcus Garveys Universal Negro Improvement Association, which wanted all Afro-Americans to go back to the land of their ancestors, Africa. Because of the fathers advocacy for Garvey movement, Malcolms family was terrorized by the Ku Klux Klan which was an organization of white racists.
In September 1931, the white racists of Lansing killed Malcolms father and laid him on a railway track, claiming he committed suicide. This was not the end of the tragedies of his life, just the beginning. In the years that followed, Malcolms mother, Louise, deteriorated emotionally and mentally and in 1939, was committed to a mental institution in Kalamanzoo, Michigan by the white authorities. Malcolm had been removed from his mother and went to school in Mason, Michigan, living with different families.
Malcolm did well in Mason and graduated from junior high school at the top of his class academically and athletically, but he was discouraged from continuing academically past the eighth grade due to his race. His whole childhood was miserable. His family, his desire for education, and his hope for the future were destroyed by the whites. And this can do more than explain why he became a troublemaker and a hustler during his young adulthood. Despite all these disadvantages and his