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The Civil Rights History of Malcolm X

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Aaron Corbeil

on 17 March 2013

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Transcript of The Civil Rights History of Malcolm X

Civil Rights Before Malcolm X RACIAL DISCRIMINATION http://www.pbs.org/wnet/jimcrow/themap/index.html
What made Malcolm X who he was? Events that led to Activism 1929: Little's household was burned Down After seeing the hardship, and inequality that Black Americans faced everyday; Malcolm X's purpose in life became to fight that inequality. Purpose In prison Malcolm found his purpose through his studies. He became...

"more sensitivity to the deafness, dumbness, and blindness that afflicted the black race in America". (Malcolm X) Additionally Malcolm proclaimed "I have attacked my ignorance by being able to study intensely". In prison Malcolm X read and wrote but most importantly X took part in prison debates. The knowledge X learned from reading combined with his natural talent as an orator made X a force to be reckoned with when it came to debate. Thus when Malcolm X eventually left prison and began his fight against racial injustice speeches and interviews became his primary means of explaining, proclaiming and delivering his message and beliefs. Genre/Media/Design It is important to note that Malcolm X's original purpose was to fight the social injustice of his time, to educate himself so that he would be able to make changes to the system that he was so personally aware of. But Malcolm X also experienced the worst of America's racial injustice as a child and a teenager. Upon leaving prison and meeting Elijah Mohammed, the Nation of Islam's aggressive black power stance spoke to X on a personal level. The combination of Malcolm X's childhood, his overall purpose and the influence of Elijah Mohammad created the fiery freedom fighter history remembers him as. And his passion for black freedom comes out in the speeches and interviews Malcolm X delivered during his years under Elijah Mohammed. Under Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X preached an early version of what would become the "Black Power"movement. A stance not unlike Marcus Garvey, an early black rights leader whom X's father followed. Malcolm X's stance and purpose was no longer civil equality and improvement, as appears in his prison years, but complete Negro separation. Total separation was the only way for Blacks to be truly free. Interview between A.B Spellman and Malcolm X on March 19, 1964. Spellman: What kind of coalition do you plan to make? Can whites join the Muslim Mosque Inc.?

Malcolm X: Whites can’t join us. Everything that whites join that Negroes have they end up out-joining the Negroes. The whites control all Negro organizations that they can join—they end up in control of those organizations. If whites want to help us financially we will accept their financial help, but we will never let them join us.

Spellman: Then black leadership is necessary?

Malcolm X: Absolutely black leadership. The irony is that for someone fighting against hate, Malcolm X employed a lot of hate himself. This hate however appears more to be the teaching of Elijah Mohammed then X's own thoughts. For Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam, the white man was the ultimate evil. As Saad Lakhani writes in his article "The greatness of purpose, Malcolm X", "This movement taught him ‘the white man’s the devil’ doctrine" From "A Message to the Grassroots" (Oct. 10, 1963)

We have a common enemy. We have this in common: We have a common oppressor, a common exploiter, and a common discriminator. But once we all realize that we have this common enemy, then we unite on the basis of what we have in common. And what we have foremost in common is that enemy —— the white man. He’s an enemy to all of us. I know some of you all think that some of them aren’t enemies. Time will tell. The obvious reoccurring theme with Malcolm X is his aggression. In complete opposition to the peaceful, Gandhi-inspired teaching of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X openly preached violence as a means to his Black freedom end. So just as reading appears to have "awoke inside (Malcolm X) some long dormant craving to be mentally alive", Elijah Mohammad appears to have awoken X's long dormant aggression and frustration towards Whites. So we know why X was so impassioned and we know who caused him to hate so much, but how was he going to express himself and how would he garner support? In his article "Malcolm X and his audience", Jarrett Smith points out three ways in which Malcolm X was able to connect with so many people through his speech. Firstly, Malcolm X was able to present logically compelling arguments. In his speech 'On God and Judgement of White America, Jarrett points out that "Malcolm X used a series of ethical proofs as a tool for fostering the relationship with his audience" "He achieved this goal by referencing biblical events and a knowledge of current events to connect the past to the present, as a means of predicting the future of America. In a specific example of this strategy, Malcolm X told the thousands of followers how it was the evils of slavery that had brought about the end of Ancient Babylon and Greece and later in the demise of Europe as a world power that was ongoing. He then used these examples as the premise for his argument stating that the same fate will fall upon the United States, in exact words yelled, “White America too will be utterly destroyed by her own sins… and the honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches us that America's judgment and destruction will also be brought about by divine will and divine power.” In his conclusion he guides his audience to believe that notonly will destruction come to America, but also to his religious message that this event will bebrought on by the power of God (Allah)" Secondly, Malcolm X presented himself in a specific way. Through his speeches X would present himself as a "an expert of his Muslim religion" to prove to his audience he was an "authority as a speaker". Smith writes that in his speeches X would take on the qualities of "a preacher and those of a prophetic nature.". Thirdly and most importantly, Malcolm X related to his audience. X "highlighted the black struggle and the constant battle against the barriers to equality created by the government and white society" and would make the point that "he understood and was familiar with the issues facing the black community". From "A Message to the Grassroots" (Oct. 10, 1963)

We have a common enemy. We have this in common: We have a common oppressor, a common exploiter, and a common discriminator. But once we all realize that we have this common enemy, then we unite on the basis of what we have in common. And what we have foremost in common is that enemy —— the white man. He’s an enemy to all of us. I know some of you all think that some of them aren’t enemies. Time will tell. Which brings us to the most important point on the civil rights history of Malcolm X. History remembers X as the fiery angry black nationalist that he was between 1952 and April 13th 1964. Before 1952 Malcolm X was in jail and his purpose was racial equality through personal improvement. After his trip to Mecca, Malcolm X no longer saw Whites as the end all evil. Instead of hating the people along with their deeds, X came to hate the deeds and not the person. Thus it would appear the most correct evaluation of Malcolm X's stance and purpose are those he demonstrates in prison and after his pilgrimage to Mecca. Malcolm X's purpose and stance was always freedom for and the betterment of Black Americans. In prison X saw education as the means to this. After Mecca X saw brotherhood against injustice the means, regardless of colour. Malcolm X as history most often remembers him. 1952-April 13th 1964 The medium and design of Malcolm X. In conclusion, the rhetorical situation of Malcolm X changes very frequently. In jail Malcolm X saw the terrible conditions black americans lived in and sought personal improvement as the means to end this. He read and wrote and debated with others in jail and through his writing concerning that time makes it clear that improvement, not separation, is the solution. Upon leaving prison, Malcolm X becomes involved in the Nation of Islam, which taught him beliefs on separation. X became more aggressive, fighting for Black nationalism and preaching to black americans, using their situations to convince them of the same philosophy. Mecca however changes X again. Brotherhood and equality becomes his stances and the elimination of all injustices becomes his purpose. Malcolm X no longer sees race, he sees humanity and the issues that trouble it. He continues to speak, but now to the world. Unfortunately X is assassinated before his new philosophy can develop. Thus how should we understand and remember Malcolm X and his role in the history of civil rights? Malcolm X fought for Black equality, sometimes more aggressively then other time, but all along his message of personal betterment and self-love shine through. Educational Broadcasting Corporation. "Jim Crow Laws Interactive Maps." PBS. PBS, 2002. Web. 02 Mar. 2013. "Malcolm X." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2013. Web. 01 Mar. 2013 "Malcolm X." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2013. Web. 01 Mar. 2013 Perry, Bruce. Malcolm: The Life of a Man Who Changed Black America. Barrytown, NY: Station Hill, 1991. Print. X, Malcolm. “Literacy Behind Bars.” The Norton Field Guide To Writing, With Readings. Ed. Richard Bullock, Maureen Daly Googin. W.W Norton and Company, Inc, 2013. 577-581. Print X, Malcolm. “Literacy Behind Bars.” The Norton Field Guide To Writing, With Readings. Ed. Richard Bullock, Maureen Daly Googin. W.W Norton and Company, Inc, 2013. 577-581. Print X, Malcolm. “Literacy Behind Bars.” The Norton Field Guide To Writing, With Readings. Ed. Richard Bullock, Maureen Daly Googin. W.W Norton and Company, Inc, 2013. 577-581. Print "Malcolm X." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2013. Web. 01 Mar. 2013 Spellman, A.B. "Interview with Malcolm X :: Monthly Review." Monthly Review. Monthly Review, Feb. 2005. Web. 02 Mar. 2013. Lakhani, Saad. "The Greatness of Purpose, Malcolm X." Web log post. Mybitforchange.org. My Bit For Change, 23rd Feb. 2012. Web. 1 Mar. 2013. X, Malcolm. "A Message to the Grassroots." Northern Negro Grass Roots Leadership Conference. King Solomon Baptist Church, Detroit. 10 Nov. 1963. Speech. Smith, Jarrett. "Malcolm X and His Audience." Rhetoric in Civic Life. Pennsylvania State University, University Park. 1 Mar. 2013. Lecture. Smith, Jarrett. "Malcolm X and His Audience." Rhetoric in Civic Life. Pennsylvania State University, University Park. 1 Mar. 2013. Lecture. Smith, Jarrett. "Malcolm X and His Audience." Rhetoric in Civic Life. Pennsylvania State University, University Park. 1 Mar. 2013. Lecture. Smith, Jarrett. "Malcolm X and His Audience." Rhetoric in Civic Life. Pennsylvania State University, University Park. 1 Mar. 2013. Lecture. X, Malcolm. "A Message to the Grassroots." Northern Negro Grass Roots Leadership Conference. King Solomon Baptist Church, Detroit. 10 Nov. 1963. Speech. MALCOLM X And the Civil Rights Movement Understanding the Context "separate but equal"? What? Informative: Natambu, 4 Possibly by segregationists "The Black Legion" or the Klu Klux Klan At age six Malcolm's father was murdered Orphaned, Malcolm and his siblings were then passed around foster homes When he told his teacher he wanted to be lawyer he was told that it was "no realistic goal for a nigger" (Perry, 42) What effect did these events have on Malcolm and his future? Imprisonment Importance towards Civil Rights Movement: > Led him away from crime
> He began studying; which led to inspiration of "Literacy Behind Bars"
> Introduced to Nation of Islam > Jim Crows Laws What? Is it fair? "Literacy Behind Bars" > Realization in prison Education Symbolism and Malcolm X's Activism The 'X' In Malcolm X > Malcolm replaced his borne last name from 'Little' to 'X'
> Nation of Islam influenced Symbol of Activism Nation of Islam - Root of Malcolms aggressiveness - Why Islam? Symbol of Activism So I added the stuff that I had already written into the prezi. Now the stuff on how his stance changed, the effect of the NOI, the impact of his speeches and a conclusion are included. You may wanna move the conclusion to the end of the path. The conclusion is made up of the circles that get progressively larger. Hopefully I didnt mess it all up. I'm pretty happy with it. I'll take a look again in the morn before class Contextual Summary > His early childhood left him with a lot of grievance towards racial injustices > This led to a life of crime which ended him up in prison > He gained insight in prison which led to his education; realizing that education was the key Nation of Islam Malcolm's purpose was strengthened through the cohabitation between his beliefs, and the activist beliefs of the Nation of Islam. Summary of Purpose - The context of his life fueled his passion. -The Nation of Islam focused X's aggression based on their morals and unity. A change was coming to Malcolm X's philosophies and his stance within civil rights. - Studying enriched his mind and prepared him to fight for Black rights. On April 13th 1964 X left America for Mecca and came back a changed man. The Mecca Peace based Sanction of Islamic Religion The Hajj is a pilgrimage through the Saudi Arabian Desert that presents some sort of epiphany - Symbolizes a second life changing event in Malcolm's activist career > Instead of separatism; a message of equality
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