Essay Question: Assess the Extent That Malcolm X Achieved His Goals in "The Civil Rights Movement' in America. (Consider the Legacy Malcolm X Left Behind)

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Essay Question: Assess the extent that Malcolm X achieved his goals in "The Civil Rights Movement' in America. (Consider the legacy Malcolm X left behind)

Malcolm X aspired for justice and liberalisation for all African-American people during the late 1950's and early 1960's. He was a dynamic spokesperson and used religious concepts from the Nation of Islam to appeal to many African-Americans. Malcolm X was an activist for Black Nationalism and separation as solutions to the scourge of white racism. He preached against many teaching of other Civil Rights activists, and discarded ideas of non-violence and desegregation. His rough bringing combined with religious concepts from the Black Muslims, was what brought about his biased opinion on white people. His visitation to Mecca proved to be pivotal experience which would lead Malcolm to find the real Muslim religion. Many historians would conclude that it was only though his assassination that his goals and contributions were truly recognised, whilst others argue he was successful and left a lasting legacy.

Malcolm X was born as Malcolm Little on May 19th, 1925 in Omaha, Nebraska. He was born to his parents Louise and Earl Little, and was a sibling to eight other children. His mother was a housewife and his father was a local Baptist minister and loyal supporter of the Black Nationalist leader, Marcus Garvey. It was his father connection with Marcus Garvey's Black Nationalist movement that lead to tensions between the family and local white racist cliques. The family were constantly approached by racist cliques such as the Ku Klux Klan and Black Legions, which forced them to relocate twice before Malcolm forth birthday. On December 10th, 1924 whilst his mother was pregnant with him, members of the Ku Klux Klan proceeded to damage their house and told them to leave because of his father position in the "Back to Africa" movement. "When my mother was pregnant with me, she told me later, a party of hooded Ku Klux Klan riders galloped up to our home…Brandishing their shotguns and rifles, they shouted for my father to come out" (Quote from

On September 28th, 1931, Earl Little was run over by streetcar and died Police stated that it was a horrific accident, whilst many locals said he was murdered by the white supremacist group the Black Legions. The Black Legions had been responsible for the burning down the Little Family's home 2 years before on November 7th, 1929 and since then they had received ongoing threats. With Louise Little unable to cope with the death of her husband and raising nine children in extreme poverty, she soon had a mental breakdown and was formally committed to State Mental Hospital at Kalamazoo, where she remained for twenty-six years. Malcolm and his siblings where split up and sent to various foster homes and orphanages. Malcolm moved around a lot from different state institutions and boarding schools. He was a very intelligent student and was elected as leader, even though he was the only integrated Negro at the school. It was during spring of 1939 that Malcolm told his favourite teacher he would like to become a lawyer, his teacher simply replied "that's no realistic goal for a nigger." He soon after this incident, Malcolm lost interest in school and dropped out at the age of 15. After scheming through many low waged jobs, he turned to a life of crime and became a street hustler. On January 16th, 1946 Malcolm was charged in with breaking and entering and was given an 8 to 10 year sentence.

Whilst in Jail, Malcolm was introduced to the Nation of Islam and the teachings of the ‘Black Muslims.' He used most of his spare time to further educate himself and become familiar with the teachings of the Muslim religion. The Black Muslim movement was started by Elijah Muhammad and aimed to promote Black equality and Nationalism. The movement looked to empower African Americans and help them to...
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