Why did people from the Nation of Islam kill Malcolm X?

Malcolm X (pronounced /mlkm ks/) (born Malcolm Little; May 19, 1925 February 21, 1965), also known as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz[1] (Arabic: ), was an African-American Muslim minister, public speaker, and human rights activist.[2][3][4][5] 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.[6] His detractors accused him of preaching racism, black supremacy, antisemitism, and violence.[7][8][9][10][11] He has been described as one of the greatest and most influential African Americans in history.[12][13][14]

Malcolm X was born in Omaha, Nebraska. By the time he was thirteen, his father had died and his mother had been committed to a mental hospital. 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. 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.

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.

In 1952, after his release from prison, Little visited Elijah Muhammad in Chicago, Illinois.[57] Then, like many members of the Nation of Islam, he changed his surname to “X”. In his autobiography, Malcolm X explained the “X”: “The Muslim’s ‘X’ symbolized the true African family name that he never could know. For me, my ‘X’ replaced the white slavemaster name of ‘Little’ which some blue-eyed devil named Little had imposed upon my paternal forebears.”[58]

The FBI opened a file on Malcolm X in March 1953 after hearing from an informant that Malcolm X described himself as a Communist. Soon the FBI turned its attention from concerns about possible Communist Party association to Malcolm X’s rapid ascent in the Nation of Islam.[59]

In June 1953, Malcolm X was named assistant minister of the Nation of Islam’s Temple Number One[60] in Detroit.[61] By late 1953, he established Boston’s Temple Number Eleven.[62] In March 1954, Malcolm X expanded Temple Number Twelve in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[63] Two months later he was selected to lead the Nation of Islam’s Temple Number Seven in Harlem.[64] He rapidly expanded its membership.[65] After a 1959 television broadcast in New York City about the Nation of Islam, The Hate That Hate Produced, Malcolm X became known to a much wider audience. Representatives of the print media, radio, and television frequently asked him for comments on issues. He was also sought as a spokesman by reporters from other countries.[66]

Beside his skill as an speaker, Malcolm X had an impressive physical presence. He stood 6 feet 3 inches (1.91 m) tall and weighed about 180 pounds (82 kg).[67] According to one writer, Malcolm X was “powerfully built”,[68] and another described him as a “mesmerizingly handsome … and always spotlessly well-groomed”.[67]

From his adoption of the Nation of Islam in 1952 until he left the organization in 1964, Malcolm X promoted the Nation’s teachings. He taught that black people were the original people of the world,[69] and that white people were a race of devils.[70] In his speeches, Malcolm X said that black people were superior to white people, and that the demise of the white race was imminent.[71]

While the civil rights movement fought against racial segregation, Malcolm X advocated the complete separation of African Americans from white people. He proposed the establishment of a separate country for black people[72] as an interim measure until African Americans could return to Africa.[73] Malcolm X also rejected the civil rights movement’s strategy of nonviolence and instead advocated that black people use any necessary means of self-defense to protect themselves.[74]

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Why did people from the Nation of Islam kill Malcolm X?


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December 21, 2013  Tags: , , , , , , ,   Posted in: Nation of Islam |

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