Malcolm X was a brave activist for the rights of the Black people in the United States of America. He was born in May 1925. Malcolm X is considered to be one of the most influential and candid Black American leaders. Malcolm X lived during a time when the injustice and bias of the Black Americans were higher and exhibited by the White Americans. Remarkably, he was converted into Black Muslim community by his brother despite the fact that his father was a Baptist Christian. Malcolm X grew up in foster homes since his father was murdered at his tender age by the white chauvinist. His mother became mentally sick, which was caused by the pressure to raise 8 children by herself. Life of Malcolm X was full of hullabaloos caused by his quest for impartiality between the blacks and the whites. This has made some people perceive him as a revolutionist while others thought he was a racist. This essay analyzes Malcolm X as a revolutionist.
There have been many African-American leaders in the history of America and Malcolm X is arguably one of the most influential (Barbee 39). This clearly indicates why he is considered to be a revolutionist, but not a racist. His childhood was full of hardships after his father was killed by the believed White racists who were attacking the Blacks those days. Moreover, their house was torched. Arguably, it is claimed he was a racist from the speeches he gave when he was a spokesperson under the Nation of Islam. The Nation of Islam advocated for segregation and Malcolm X as a member of it, had to work within their framework. However, there were many reasons why Malcolm X should be viewed as a revolutionist.
Firstly, Malcolm X is depicted as a revolutionist due to the circumstances of his death. Malcolm X died in broad daylight at a public meeting (Bush 106). Notably, research asserts that he was murdered by the members of the National of Islam. The National of Islam settled on murdering Malcolm X because he was against their teachings and stood against religion and racism. Initially, Malcolm X was a staunch member of the National of Islam. He was converted to the National of Islam by his brother while he was still in jail. His brother wrote him a letter telling him that he should stop eating pork and he would show him the way to get out of jail. This was how Malcolm X joined the National of Islam. However, he later visited Africa and this changed his opinion of the National of Islam. When he went back to the United States, Malcolm X decided to shift from National of Islam to Sunni Muslim. This is one of the signs of his revolutionist character because he did not want to be involved with religious groups that were not advocating for true change in America. The National of Muslims was largely considered to be a racist religious group because it was comprised of solely Black Muslims. When Malcolm left the Nation of Islam, he became vocal and started talking about their ill plans and rules that were not bound to help fight racism in America. This catalyzed the killing of Malcolm X at a public meeting since the members of the National of Islam feared that he was exposing them a lot.
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Secondly, Malcolm’s revolutionary bid is seen from his quest for separation of the Blacks and the Whites. After Malcolm had been released from jail, he became an active member of the Nation of Islam. Nation of Islam was a Black Muslim movement that was against the Whites and advocated for the segregation of the Whites from the Blacks (Davis 55). According to Davis, while under the Nation of Islam, Malcolm claimed that the Blacks and Whites should be separated and that is what he still advocated for after he had left (43). The only and big difference was that the Nation of Islam was more based on racial issues as Malcolm’s point was for brotherhood. Most people take Malcolm’s move to call for separation of the Whites and Blacks as racism, but here is the reason why it was not. Malcolm X claimed that there was no need to live together if the other person does not value you and has a low opinion about your being (Marable 90). Additionally, Marable affirms that he thought that separation of the Blacks from the Whites would only help to bring peace because the Whites were not ready to accept the being of the Blacks, and for that reason it was better they stay apart (54). This is one of the reasons why Malcolm should be viewed as a revolutionist. His fight for separation was not based on racism, but rather on the independence of Black people.
Thirdly, Malcolm X was a revolutionist because he had a dream of changing the White’s perception that Blacks did not have space for development in the career world. Notably, while in the junior high school, Malcolm X was performing very well in class and had a dream of becoming a lawyer. At this time, there were very few career oriented Black people and even assumed that there was no Black under the field of law. Despite that, Malcolm’s dream was to revolutionize this thought and that was the reason why he wanted to make his dream of studying law a reality. However, while in the junior high school, Malcolm’s White teacher killed his morale of becoming a lawyer when he told him that practicing law by that time was unrealistic for a “nigger” like him, X. According to Marable, this demoralized Malcolm and he had to drop out of school (23). Malcolm’s dropping out of school should not be viewed negatively, but rather as a move that was catalyzed by his dream to prove that the Blacks were also talented and could achieve what the Wwhite Americans could achieve.
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Additionally, Malcolm X was a revolutionist judging from the move, which he made after touring abroad. After his trip in Africa, Malcolm X decided to quit from the National of Islam to Sunni Muslims (Terrill. 101). Malcolm X wanted the best for the people and this was the reason he took this step that even led to his death. After the Africa and Middle East trip, he revolutionized completely both religiously and politically. According to Malcolm, the National of Islam was not right on the quest for the Black’s sovereignty. Davies indicates that he argued that freedom for the blacks could not be achieved by discriminating the Whites against them (61). At this point, he was against the revolt of the Blacks against the Whites. Malcolm had decided to look for better ways to fight for the rights of the Blacks, but not by insulting them as devils. Taking this into account, it is clear that Malcolm X was a true Black American who was a revolutionist. He decided to transform from the National of Islam to Sunni Muslim just for the good of his people. However, this led to his assassination, in 1965 by the National of Islam gang members.
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Lastly, Malcolm’s criticism to the civil-rights movements portrays him as a real revolutionist. As the Whites were mistreating the blacks, there came the civil rights movements that were headed by Martin King Luther Junior (X 99). The civil rights movements were aimed at lobbying on the behalf of the Blacks and ensuring that justice was advanced to them just the way the Whites were also justified. The civil rights movement advocated for non-violent protest. This was the main thing that made Malcolm X criticize the civil rights movement. According to Malcolm X, the civil rights movements were baying time as the African American were still mistreated and killed by the Whites. Malcolm argued that there was no need to advocate for non-violence move when people were still troubled. He thought that the best way to deal with the Whites was to fight them, be hard on them and ensure they responded to the Whites’ cry. There was no need to waste time while people needed immediate revolution as they had been suffering for a long period of time. Malcolm X was evidently a revolutionist in this move as many Blacks supported his point unlike the ones that supported the move for non-violence protests.
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In conclusion, Malcolm X was an American revolutionist who fought for the rights and justice of the Black Americans. He is notably one of the most influential Black American leaders who ever lived. Malcolm X’s father was a Baptist and a follower of Martin King Luther Junior and this led to his assassination by the White dictators. Later on, his mother become mentally ill and Malcolm and his siblings were raised by the foster families. There have been a lot of debates whether Malcolm was a racist or revolutionist. Yet, this paper concludes that Malcolm was a revolutionist and this is the main reason, Malcolm X comes out as a revolutionist due to the circumstances of his death. Malcolm X died in a broad daylight at a public meeting. Notably, it is said he was murdered by the members of the National of Islam. The National of Islam settled on murdering Malcolm X because he was against their teachings and stood against religion and racism
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