Malcolm X's Life and Accomplishments

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Malcolm X was an African American minister and civil rights leader. Unlike many activists of his time, he took a different approach on the movement. In his lifetime, from 1925 to 1965, he was known as an advocate for the rights of blacks, and has been named one of the greatest and most influential men in history.

Early Life

Malcolm was born on May 19, 1925, in Omaha, Nebraska to Louise and Earl Little. His Father, Earl, was a Baptist minister and an active member of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (founded by Marcus Garvey). Due to his involvement in civil rights, Malcolm and his family were harassed and experienced racism from an early age, and Malcolm’s encounter before he was even born. In his own words, Malcolm said: “ When my mother was pregnant with me, she told me later, ‘ a party of hooded Ku Klux Klan riders galloped to our home, brandishing their guns and rifles, they shouted for my father to come out’.”

They later moved to East Lansing, Michigan, where harassment continued, and in 1929, their house was set on fire by a group called the Black Legion, a white fascist group (J. Simon, 26). Two years later, Earl was found dead on streetcar tracks. His death was ruled a suicide, even though it was very likely that he was killed by racists. Later in 1937, Malcolm’s mother Louise, who never got over her husband’s death, was admitted into a mental institution. Malcolm and his other siblings were split up to various foster homes (Malcolm X bio, 2013).


Malcolm graduated junior high at the top of his class, with aspirations of being a lawyer, until a teacher told him that being a lawyer was “no realistic goal for a nigger,” suggesting that he be something practical, like a carpenter (J. Si...

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...civil rights movement. He spoke on the racial injustices of America, and of the world. He led a movement in the nation, and worked towards a cause shared by the nation. He left behind his wife Betty Shabazz (1934-1997) and his six children. To this day, his legacy lives on and has inspired millions.

Works Cited

E. Peniel, Joseph, “Still Reinventing Malcolm” Chronicle of Higher Education (2011)

Galileo. Web. February 2014

J. Simon, John. “Malcolm X- His Legacy” Monthly Review: An Independent Socialist

Review (2005): 27-30 Galileo. Web. February 2014

Noaman, Ali “About Malcolm X” 2013 Web. February, 2014

Vernell, Marjorie “Leaders of Black Civil Rights” Lucent Books. 2000. Print

X, Malcolm, Haley, Alex “The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As told to Alex Haley”

Grove Press. 1965. Print.
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