Malcolm X

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Born May 19, 1925, Malcolm Little, also known as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, was an African-American Muslim minister, public speaker, and human rights activist. To his admirers, he was a courageous advocate for the rights of African Americans, a man who indicted white America in the harshest terms for its crimes against black Americans.

Malcolm X

Source: Mirrorpix / Getty

His detractors accused him of preaching racism, black supremacy, anti-Semitism, and violence. He has been described as one of the greatest and most influential African Americans in history. Malcolm X was born in Omaha, Nebraska. The events of his childhood, including his father’s lessons concerning black pride and self-reliance, and his own experiences concerning race, played a significant role in Malcolm X’s adult life. By the time he was thirteen, his father had died and his mother had been committed to a mental hospital.

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After living in a series of foster homes, Malcolm X became involved in hustling and other criminal activities in Boston and New York. In 1946, Malcolm X was sentenced to eight to ten years in prison.While in prison, Malcolm X became a member of the Nation of Islam. After his parole in 1952, he became one of the Nation’s leaders and chief spokesmen. For nearly a dozen years, he was the public face of the Nation of Islam. Tension between Malcolm X and Elijah Muhammad, head of the Nation of Islam, led to Malcolm X’s departure from the organization in March 1964.

Malcolm X

Source: Mirrorpix / Getty

After leaving the Nation of Islam, Malcolm X became a Sunni Muslim and made a pilgrimage to Mecca, after which he disavowed racism. He traveled extensively throughout Africa and the Middle East. He founded Muslim Mosque, Inc., a religious organization, and the secular, Black Nationalist Organization of Afro-American Unity. Less than a year after he left the Nation of Islam, Malcolm X was assassinated while giving a speech in New York.

 

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Celebrate The Life Of Malcolm X  was originally published on rnbphilly.com