Malcolm X

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How did Malcolm X’s early experiences in life influence his approach as a Civil Rights leader? 3 Comments
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* MHS Student 
on August 15, 2012

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Christian Alex Amezquita- Malcolm X has had a lot of events happen early in his life that has affected/shaped him throughout his entire life. For example, there was that time when the welfare workers came to Malcolm's house to split up his family and send his mom to an insane asylum (Kalamazoo). In addition, Malcolm was put with a white family whom treated him like an over glorified dog. He never could feel as if he was one of them, but always felt that he was beneath them. Furthermore, Malcolm's teacher telling him that he could not become a lawyer because of his color really had an impact on him. All of these events gave Malcolm a good reason to become a Civil Rights leader. These events where the wood to his fire and Elijah Muhammad was his flint and steel.
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* Anonymous 
on August 20, 2012

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Malcolm experienced and observed many things in his life that helped form his personality and beliefs about society starting from when he was born. Malcolm’s mom was part white, so Malcolm was born the lightest of all the children and experienced discrimination within his family. His father was brainwashed to think that anything closer to being white was better, so he treated Malcolm the best while his mother, hated the fact that she had “white rapist blood” in her and treated Malcolm the worst, because he was a constant reminder of it. When he moved to Boston, he saw all around him, a bunch of brainwashed black people. “They prided themselves on being incomparably more “cultured,” “cultivated,” “dignified,” and better off than their black brethren down in the ghetto, which was no further away then you could throw a rock” (Haley 42). Malcolm had very strong opinions about white people and black people, and liked to spread what he believed in which made him fit to be a Civil Rights leader. -Pearl Tenay
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* Anonymous 
on August 24, 2012

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Riki Walter- Malcolm's early experiences in life taught him how to deal with people, and get what you want from them, and make them listen to you, which helped him become a successful civil rights leader. If it weren't for his early life hustling he wouldn't have acquired such skills, like how to make a black man listen, and how a white man's ego's so big he would never think a black man is capable of coming up with a plan to outwit. Eventually, his jobs such as selling drugs and valeting for women pimps gave him the fundimentals of how he should go about convincing followers around he world.


Malcolm X (1925 – 1965) was born as Malcolm Little in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1925. His father was a Baptist minister and a strong devotee of the Black leader Marcus Garvey. Garvey’s message, as many readers will be familiar, was that Black people in America would never be able to live in peace and harmony with white Americans and their only hope of salvation was to move as a people back to their roots in Africa. Malcolm’s father died when he was six and his mother was put in a mental home when he was about twelve. As a result, his many brothers and sisters were split up and put into different foster homes. Malcolm left school early and eventually drifted North and finally settled in Harlem, New York, on his own, at the age of 17. In Harlem, he soon slipped into a life of crime. He became involved in hustling, in prostitution, in drug dealing. He became a cocaine addict and a burglar. Finally, at the ripe old age of 19, he was arrested and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. It was while he was in prison that his whole life changed. He first learned of the existence of the Honourable Elijah Mohammed and of the movement known as the Black Muslims from his brothers and sisters outside the prison. They had become converts to the movement and asked Malcolm to write to Elijah Mohammed.  In Chapter 11 of his...
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