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MalcolmX`s legacy and leadership in the civil rights movement

Malcolmwas born in 1925 in Omaha Nebraska to a father who was a Baptistminister. Additionally, his father was an ardent follower of MarcusGarvey, a Black nationalist leader. The society at that time wascharacterized by frequent racist violence, a fact which played asignificant role in preparing him for his future leadership and civilactivist roles. He did well in school and had a dream of being alawyer, but was unable to pursue his dream career after dropping outof school and moving to New York after which he went to Boston wherehe spent most of his time drug dealing and hustling (Doeden,12).His legacy began with his conversion to the Nation of Islam while inPrison. While in prison, he utilized the library to complete hiseducation. He later on went to become an effective spokesman andorganizer for the Nation of Islam following his release in 1952(Shawkiet al.).

TheNation of Islam was one of the earliest organizations to take part inthe civil rights struggle. It gained popularity in the 1950’s withits members reaching approximately one hundred thousand, with MalcolmX becoming one of the most prominent figures in the organization. Thestriking and understandable Malcolm X rapidly turned into a force formore aggressors to join the Nation of Islam, with claims intended tohighlight the pietism of white elites. In light of the claim that theNation was racist, Malcolm proudly said that if individuals respondto white racism with a vicious response, to him that is not blackracism (Peterson, 45). He went on to point out that if one came toput a rope around his neck and he hang them for it that is notracism. Malcolm was of the view that the other party’s actions inthis case were racism, but his response has nothing to do withracism. Malcolm X dismissed the perspective that coordination intoAmerican culture was either conceivable or alluring and saw thenational government and the Democratic Party not as associates, yetas a major aspect of the issue. Also, he was strongly reproachful ofliberals who discussed racism in the South, yet had nothing to say inregards to conditions in the North (Shawki et al.).

Malcolm X was likewiseincredulous of the civil rights leaders development`s pioneers. Hesaw the leaders as being opposed to the civil rights movementsinstead of being at the forefront. Malcolm was also critical of thenon violence premise that was being advocated by the Southerndesegregation movement. Rather,he contended for dark self-preservation. He argued that there wasneed for blacks to be serene, be gracious, comply with the law,regard everybody highly except on the off chance that somebody putsa hand on you, send him to the cemetery. He pointed out that thatwas a decent religion an old fashioned religion (Socialistworker).

Malcolm`sconsequent departure from the Nation of Islam was at long lastincited by the demise of John F Kennedy. Malcolm was unlike theleaders of the mainstream movement who had shown support for bothKennedy and the Democratic party. Kennedy had come to government onthe back of the Civil Rights development. In 1960 when he nearly beatRichard Nixon he had gotten 68% of the black votes. However, he wasquick to forget the promises he had made to the black community whenhe came to power (Sales, 122). For this, Malcolm rightly condemnedhim. Elijah Muhammad requested members of the organization not tofreely remark on the issue. Yet when questioned by the press Malcolmwas quick to respond, pointing out that the chicken had finally comehome to roost and that this did not make him sad. A shocked Muhammadsuspended Malcolm for ninety days. Amid that period Malcolm was notto talk freely in the interest of the Nation. After the 90 days thesuspension was not lifted, it had in all actuality turned into anejection. This was not a genuine astonishment to Malcolm and mirroredthe developing contrasts in the middle of Malcolm and ElijahMuhammad. On March 8, 1964, Malcolm formally declared that he wasleaving the Nation of Islam to form another organization. The splitfrom the Nation of Islam became one of the legacies he is rememberedfor (Socialistworker).

Malcolm X formed the MuslimMosque Inc after moving out of the Nation of Islam. Malcolm’s neworganization aimed at bringing together both the Muslims andnon-Muslim. While he was still a submitted black nationalist, with ishis goal being the return of blacks to Africa, he saw this as faroff. He needed the Muslim Mosque Inc, working with other socialorganizations, to initiate a battle for respectable lodging,training, and employment among other things. He saw the significantrole that the youths would play in any organization that was radicalpointing out that the success of the new movement would largelydepend on the youths. Malcolm also called attention to the need ofnew thoughts, new strategies, new methodologies and that they weretotally embittered with the old and already established politicians(Socialistworker).

Toincrease his participation in the civil rights movement, Malcolm cameto the conclusion that it was important for religion and politics tobe separated. He pointed out that apart from mixing religion andpolitics, it was also essential to avoid mixing the social andeconomies with the civil activities. His idea was that the linkbetween the different social factors should be in such a way that themain goal should be to eliminate the evils that impact people in thesociety (Shawkiet al.).He was also quick to point out that he still was an adherent of BlackNationalism.

The new organization formed byMalcolm X encountered a number of challenges. Not only was it handfor the organization to get funding, the media also refused tohighlight the direction that the organization aimed to take.Additionally, other important organizations such as the SNCC did notlike the idea of entering into alliance with Malcolm’sorganization. His aim was to build an organization that aimed atachieving an honest relationship between the blacks and the whites.However, it was quite clear that the new organization was a threat toother civil movement leaders. Not only was he against racism, but hewas also against the capitalist system, thereby posing a greaterthreat to the civil rights leadership (Sales, 152). Malcolm also cameup with the idea of self-defense among the blacks. In 1964, theOrganization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU) was formed. One of theimportant features for the organization was self-defense of theAfrican Americans. The organization also launched a petition againstthe government of the US for its mistreatment of the black community.His political ideas were rapidly evolved, and he became a biggerthreat. His dream for a better black community was cut short by hisuntimely death (Terrill, 88)

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Workcited

Doeden,Matt.&nbspAMarked Man.Minneapolis: Twenty-First Century Books, 2013. Print.

Peterson,Elizabeth A.&nbspFreedomRoad.Malabar, Fla.: Krieger, 2002. Print.

Sales,William W.&nbspFromCivil Rights To Black Liberation.Boston, Mass.: South End Press, 1994. Print.

Shawki,Ahmed et al. `The Legacy Of Malcolm X | Jacobin`.&nbspJacobinmag.com.N.p., 2015. Web. 6 Apr. 2015.

Socialistworker,.`Malcolm X: Legacy Of A Revolutionary`.&nbspSocialistworker.org.N.p., 2015. Web. 6 Apr. 2015.

Terrill,Robert.&nbspTheCambridge Companion To Malcolm X.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010. Print.