Grade 12 Law | Jon DeGroot, Billy Bartens | February 23, 2015 May 19th 1925, a day where one of the most influential African Americans would be born into a world where pigment would define him as a second class citizen. Malcolm Little was born Omaha, Nebraska. His family could not shelter the thriving racism even before he was born, Malcolm would be a “negroe.”
The little family was one of many victims to the days popular racial groups. Reason being, they were simply black. However the Little family would be further harassed as Earl
(Malcolm's Father) was an activist for Black Nationalism, and similar organizations. Various times he would be threatened and mistreated by the likes of the Klu Klux Klan, and anyone who opposed blacks. Malcolm’s family move to Michigan in hopes of living a better life.
Wrong, even a ‘fresh’ start would not provide the family a normal life.
Shorty after the Little family had moved, their house was left to burn. Started by racist mobs, burned down due to the all white emergency responders who arrived and watched.
Tragically two years after Mr. Earl Little’s body found dead along streetcar tracks. The death threats, harassment, and suppression had made the family experience suffering. Although this event would end his family. His mother delved into a state of shock and grief, from which she never recovered. Malcolm, fourth child of 8 would have to carve his own.
As the only black student, Malcolm attended a junior high school. He excelled and was teased as the teachers pet, making him feel yet again second to the other students. This was proven when his teacher asked him what he wanted to with his life, Malcolm said, “a lawyer”.
His teacher replied,"One of life's first needs is for us to be realistic, you need to think of something you can be, why don't you plan on carpentry?" Age 15 Malcolm dropped out of school, and left for Boston to live with his half sister whom he admired as the first black
women he ever met with pride in her skin. Malcolm took on the job of shining shoes at a ballroom although with the little satisfaction it brought, Malcolm ventured into the drug market as a dealer.
At the age 21 Malcolm was caught and sentenced to jail for larceny in 1946. He was visited by siblings who had joined the Nation of Islam, who supported black nationalism within their faith. In jail Malcolm too converted, and spent much time studying books. 1952, Malcolm was released, and changed his last name to “X”, as “Little” was a name given to his ancestor by a slave owner.
From his release of prison to the 60’s Malcolm had become a large voice of radical civil rights movement. The NOI had grown from 400 to 40,000 with his fierce approach.
Malcolm fought for a state for blacks separated from whites, which contrasted Martin Luther
King Jr.’s ideal of integration and in comparison a peaceful approach.
Three years later in 1963 Malcolm left the NOI. Reason being Elijah Muhammad, a man he revered as a prophet requested Malcolm to cover up his affairs with 7 other women, which he had children with. This lead to the boiling point of Malcolm’s anger where he even commented on John F. Kennedy’s assassination,