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Malcolm X
Malcolm X was born Malcolm Little on May 19, 1925 in Omaha, Nebraska.
In 1929, the Little’s home was burned to the ground. Two years later, Malcolm’s father, Earl was found dead across the town trolly tracts. His mother, Louise, suffered an emotional breakdown years later. Her breakdown led to her being admitted into a mental institution. Her children were split up amongst variousfoster homes and orphanages. He graduated from junior high at the top of his class. However told Malcolm his dream of becoming a lawyer was “no realistic goal for a nigger,” Malcolm lost interest in school and eventually dropped out. After dropping out he spent some time in Boston working various odd jobs, and then traveled to Harlem where he committed petty crimes. By 1942 Malcolm was coordinatingvarious narcotics, prostitution and gambling rings. Eventually Malcolm and his buddy, Malcolm “Shorty” Jarvis, moved back to Boston. In 1946 they were arrested and convicted on burglary charges, and Malcolm was sentenced to 10 years in prison. He used this time to further his education. During his sentence, Malcolm’s brother; Reginald would visit and discuss his recent conversion to the Muslimreligion. Reginald belonged to the religious organization the Nation Of Islam (NOI). Intrigued, Malcolm began to study the teaching of NOI leader Elijah Muhammad. Muhammad taught that white society actively worked to keep African-Americans from empowering themselves and achieving political, economic and social success. By the time he was paroled in 1952, Malcolm was a devoted follower with the newsurname “X.”(He considered “Little” a slave name and chooses the “X” to signify his lost tribal name). Malcolm was appointed as a minister and national spokesman for the NOI. Elijah Muhammad also charged him with establishing new mosques in cities such as Detroit and Harlem. Malcolm was largely credited with increasing membership from 500 to 30 000. He was featured in week-long television specialwith Mike Wallace in 1959, called “The Hate That Hate Produced”. As membership in the NOI continued to grow, FBI agents infiltrated the organization (One even acted as Malcolm’s bodyguard) and secretly placed bugs, wiretaps, cameras and other surveillance equipment to monitor the group’s activities. In 1963. He learn that his mentor and leader, Elijah Muhammad, was secretly having relations with asmany as six women within the Nation Of Islam organization. As if that were not enough, Malcolm found out that some relationships had resulted in children. Malcolm refused Muhammad’s request to help cover up the affairs and subsequent children. He was deeply hurt by the deception of Muhammad, whom he had considered a living prophet. Shortly after his shocking discovery, Malcolm received criticismfor a comment he made regarding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. “[Kennedy] never foresaw that the chickens would come home to roost so soon.” In March 1964 Malcolm terminated his relationship with the NOI. Unable to look past Muhammad’s deception, Malcolm decided to found his own religious organization, the Muslim Mosque, Inc. That same year, Malcolm went on a pilgrimage to Mecca.The trip proved life altering. For the first time, Malcolm shared his thoughts and beliefs with different cultures. FBI informants working undercover in the NOI warned officials that Malcolm had been marked for assassination. (One undercover officer had even been ordered to help plant a bomb in Malcolm’s car). On February 14, 1965 the home where Malcolm, his wife, Batty and their four daughterslived in East Elmhurst, New York was firebombed. Luckily, the family escaped physical injury. One week later, At a speaking engagement in the Manhattan’s Audubon Ballroom three gunmen rushed Malcolm onstage. They shot him 15 times at close range. The 39-year-old was pronounced dead on arrival at New York’s Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. Fifteen hundred people attendes Malcolm’s Funeral in Harlem on...
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