Can you recall a memory from your early childhood? Did you think about the first time you fell off your bike, getting stung by a bee or your big brother teaching you how to get the football to spiral when you throw it? Can you imagine that your first memory that can come to mind is living every night in fear, the burning down of your home by the Ku Klux Klan and the “accidental” death of your father who’s head was detached from his own body? This is the only memory that comes to Malcolm Little from his childhood.
Malcolm Little who is famously recognized as Malcolm X was born into a world of hatred on May 19, 1925 in Omaha Nebraska. His father was a freelance Baptist Preacher who incorporated the teaching of Black Nationalist leader Marcus Gravey. With continuous threats to the Little family by the KKK, they moved and settled in Lansing Michigan. With his father still urging the African American race to take control of their lives, he was murdered in 1931 (Pendergast). Among the death of his father at a young age, Malcolm was only six years old. This is where bad luck of faith took its toll. Lisa Little Malcolm’s mother couldn’t handle the death of her husband by herself with eight children to raise alone with no Insurance clam and fear. Being unstable welfare workers removed all the children from her care. They were all separated and placed in different foster homes. She later faced a mental breakdown that hospitalized her for twenty- six years. In 1941 around the age of sixteen with many hopes and dreams of becoming a successful lawyer, an English teacher of Malcolm’s told him to be “realistic” implying that black men couldn’t be lawyers that black men were only good enough to work with their hands not intelligence. He dropped out of High School and turned to the streets getting involved with narcotics, prostitution, gambling and burglary; gaining the title in the streets “Detroit Red” (Pendergast). Five years later in 1946 he was caught for burglary and sentenced to 10 years in prision.
During his sentence he learned the importance of education. He thought himself the works of: history, politics, literature, reading and copying every word in the dictionary. While in incarcerated Malcolm family would write to him about a new movement in the outside world with the black community. He knew of Martin Luther King and his non violence approach but this group was different. They believed in violence and were under the leadership of a different man named Elijah Muhammad. Muhammad founded the Black Muslim group who followed by the Islamic faith. After doing his own research studying, practicing the religion and the continuous convincing by his family, Malcolm accepted the Islam faith. When he joined the Islamic faith he relinquished his last name Little to X because he felt that Little was a “slave name” and the X represented the absence of knowing his real last name (Pendergast).
When he was released in 1956 the first plan he had was to...