Malcolm X: An Activist For Equality

1134 words - 5 pages

Almost nearly 100 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, many African Americans in Southern states still inhabited an unequal world of segregation and other various forms of oppression, including race-inspired violence. A perfect example of the segregation that was going on in the South was Jim Crow. The “Jim Crow” law is the former practice of segregating black people in the U.S in which was mostly upheld in the Southern States. The local and state levels secluded them from classrooms and bathrooms, from theaters and train cars, from juries and legislatures. In 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court induced the “separate but equal” doctrine that formed the basis for state-sanctioned discrimination, in which drew a lot of attention from national and international. In the treacherous decade and a half that followed, civil rights activists used nonviolent protest and civil disobedience to bring change, and the federal government made decisions with initiatives such as the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Civil Rights Act of 1968. Many of the civil rights activists chose the path of nonviolence as a way of connecting and trying to make the people understand. However other chose the other route like violence to let a message out that people of color should not be treated unfairly. Many leaders from the African American community and beyond in which began during the Civil Rights era, includes Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Andrew Goodman and others. They risked and some lost their lives for what they believed to be right, of freedom and equality.
During the decade between 1955 and 1965, while most black leaders worked in the civil rights movement to integrate blacks into the everyday American life, Malcolm X preached the opposite. Malcolm X, the activist and outspoken public voice of the Black Muslim faith, had challenged the mainstream civil rights movement and the nonviolent actions of integration championed by Martin Luther King Jr. He urged followers that defending themselves against white aggression “by any means necessary.” Being born Malcolm Little, he changed his last name to X to signify him being opposed to his “slave” name. Malcolm became an influential leader of the Nation of Islam, which combined Islam with Black Nationalism and encouraged reached out the disadvantaged young blacks searching for confidence in segregated America. Malcolm X popularized his ideas, particularly focusing among black youth, and laid the foundation for the Black Power movement of the late 1960s and 1970s.
Malcolm X believed that people of color must develop their own society and ethical values, including self-help, community-based enterprises that the Black Muslims supported. He also believed that African Americans should oppose integration or cooperation with whites. Malcolm was increasingly moving towards a political response to racism, he called for a "black revolution," which he declared would be "bloody" and would renounce any sort of...

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