Essay, Research Paper: Malcolm Hendrix


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The year was 1925, and someone special was born. His birth name was Malcolm
Little, however there were big things in store for this child. Born in Omaha,
Nebraska. The seventh of eleven children born to Earl Little, an organizer for
Marcus Garvey’s “back-to-Africa” movement (Compton’s encyclopedia
online). At age six Malcolm’s father was murdered. As a result his mother
later suffered a nervous breakdown, and the family was separated by welfare
agencies (Compton’s encyclopedia online). Later in life he would blame these
same agencies for destroying his family. He was bounced around from
boardinghouses and schools, and dreamed of becoming a lawyer only to be
discouraged by his teachers. After leaving school, in the eighth grade, he lived
with a relative in Boston, Mass. He shined shoes, worked in a restaurant and on
a railroad kitchen crew. In 1942 he moved to a section in New York called
Harlem. Where he lived as a hustler, cheating people to make money for himself.
He also sold drugs and became a drug addict himself. A rival drug dealer named
“West Indian Archie” ran him out of New York. And he ended up back in
Boston. Where he started a burglary ring, which consisted of friend named Shorty,
a pretty boy type of fellow named Rudy, a woman that Malcolm dealt with named
Sophia and one of her friends (Alex Haley 168). He soon found out that crime
does not pay, when he soon got arrested and stolen items were found in his
possession. The Negroes of that group was sentenced to eight years, while the
whites of the group were sentenced to only two. This put an image in Malcolm’s
head on how the justice system was ran. While in prison. Malcolm was well known
to the guards. One time he was asked to state his number, but instead he said he
forgot his number. The guards beat him and sent him to the “darkroom”. In
the darkroom he met Brother Bains. Bains was a man everyone respected including
guards. He was known as a real man and gave speeches about Islam. Malcolm did
not listen at first; however it didn’t take him long to listen to the words of
black empowerment, spoken by brother Bains. The black Muslims prediction that in
the near future a great war would take place in which whites would be destroyed
and black people would rule the world through the power of Allah, their creator.
To prepare for this Brother Bains preached, the importance of self-restraint,
opposed the use of drugs and alcohol, and organized self-help groups. Malcolm
Little was converted to this faith. Instead of wasting his time in prison
getting into more trouble, he begins to read and broaden his thoughts. As he did
this, his mind opens up to knowledge. He also tried to improve in other areas
such as appearance and speech. He decided not to associate himself with former
friends he got in trouble with, and formed new friendships with people of the
same faith. He left prison Malcolm X. An image popped into my head while reading
“the Autobiography of Malcolm X”(Alex Haley 231). The image of a strong man
standing in the middle of stage giving a speech. The year is 1953. At the height
of racial tension, the city is Detroit. Malcolm X is giving a speech after a run
in with FBI agents concerning the nation of Islam’s practices, and how their
message was being used. He stands on the pulpit, and delivers a message. “We
didn’t land on Plymouth rock, my brothers Plymouth Rock landed on us!”
It’s a clear message to his followers. If you want to succeed, first get from
under that rock. He insisted that “black is beautiful,” and that African
Americans must take control of their own destiny. As Malcolm was giving a speech
at the autobahn in New York City. Three men gunned him down, in cold blood, in
front of his wife and children. At the end of Malcolm’s life. He was a changed
man, a man no longer involved with racism although he had a large following he
saw an even larger picture. He saw a world where people of all colors and
religions could help one another instead of fight one another. His most enduring
messages are one of black pride and self-respect, combined with his
uncompromising rejection of racism.

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