“Brothers! Brothers, please! This is a house of peace!” These were Malcolm X’s last words before he was assassinated. His childhood was a stressful start and his life ended in a tragedy. Malcolm Little was destined to become great, inspirational, a leader. He was a very smart kid, inspired others to be like him. Most will probably remember him as a threat, a criminal, and an outlaw; but when you observe the bright side of his life, his greatness tends to shine. Even though Malcolm X had a very difficult childhood, he deeply contributed to the Civil Rights Movement.
Indeed, Malcolm X experienced a very rough and stressful childhood. Before he was born, the Ku Klux Klan had attacked his mother even though she was still pregnant with him. Due to this threat, the family had moved to Lansing, Michigan. It didn’t stop there though; the KKK returned again by burning down their house and had hacked Malcolm’s father to death. His mother couldn’t handle the stress that went with raising many kids with barely any money; so she eventually had a nervous breakdown.
In addition to his childhood, Malcolm had a successful middle school life. But it wasn’t long before Malcolm had taken a downturn in his life. He went into a life of crime and drug use. He was given the name “Detroit Red”(Foner). Eventually, Malcolm and his long-time friend, Malcolm "Shorty" Jarvis, moved back to Boston. In 1946, they were arrested and convicted on burglary charges, and Malcolm was sentenced to 10 years in prison, although he was granted parole after serving seven years. When he was 21 years old, he encountered Elijah Muhammad; leader of the Nation of Islam. By 1949, Malcolm had converted to the NOI, which required purity of the body, eliminating Malcolm's drug habit. Elijah’s views and opinions about white people had a powerful influence on Malcolm and who he would become. Shortly soon, Malcolm would adopt X, as his last name; which was symbolic of a stolen identity.
Not to mention, Malcolm X was very charismatic and the one to get his point across. Malcolm always made himself clear in his speeches regardless if it was offensive or not. He strived to be revolutionary, fight to win equality for all oppressed minorities. Malcolm X rose quickly in the NOI, becoming the minister of NOI’s Temple Seven in Harlem in June of 1954. Malcolm X simultaneously was becoming an accomplished journalist; he wrote for several publications before he founded the NOI's newspaper, Muhammad Speaks. Malcolm X’s new found fame also attracted the attention of the FBI, which soon began tapping his phone, concerned that some kind of racially based revolution was brewing. While the FBI was concerned, Malcolm X had a meeting with Fidel Castro; which only heightened the fears people had for a revolution.
As a matter of fact, Malcolm did not become a new man overnight. His conversion to his newer self was done mentally. To achieve the person he wanted to become, he had to change the way he viewed the world....