Malcolm X: Life and Contribution to Society

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Malcolm x                                                                 Malcolm X was Born May 19, 1925 in Omaha, Nebraska, a time when black men and women were supposed to smilingly and quietly accept their role as second-class citizens. I was a time when black people, who were politely called Negroes in those days, were expected to sit at the back of the bus. They were not allowed to use “whites-only” drinking fountains, restaurants, or rest rooms in South. Worst of all, black people in America were not supposed to have any ambition. They had no choice but to work for little money the alternative was to starve.                   Most white people encouraged the system because they saved a lot of money in wages they did not have to pay. Besides, they believed they were behaving according to human nature. People, no matter what color they are, do not give up the power they have not without a fight.                                               Civil Rights Activist. Malcolm X was born as Malcolm Little on May 19, 1925 in Omaha, Nebraska, the fourth of eight children born to Louise and Earl Little. Louise was a homemaker and Earl was a preacher who was also an active member of the local chapter of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and avid supporter of the black nationalist leader Marcus Garvey. Because of Earl Little's civil rights activism, the family faced frequent harassment from white supremacist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and one of its splinter factions, the Black Legion. In fact, Malcolm X had his first encounter with racism before he was even born. "When my mother was pregnant with me, she told me later," he said, "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." The harassment continued; when Malcolm X was four years old, local Klan members smashed all of the family's windows, causing Earl Little to decide to move the family from Omaha to East Lansing, Michigan.

                    However, the racism the family encountered in East Lansing proved even greater than in Omaha. Shortly after the Littles moved in, in 1929, a racist mob set their house on fire, and the town's all-white emergency responders refused to do anything. "The white police and firemen came and stood around watching as the house burned to the ground," Malcolm X remembered.

                   Two years later, in 1931, things got much, much worse. Earl Little's dead body was discovered laid out on the municipal streetcar tracks. Although Malcolm X's father was very likely murdered by white supremacists, from whom he had received frequent death threats, the police officially ruled his death a suicide, thereby voiding the large life insurance policy he had purchased in order to provide for his family in the event of his death. Malcolm X's mother never recovered from the shock and grief of her husband's death. In 1937, she was committed to a mental institution and Malcolm X left home to live with family friends.                         

                   Malcolm X attended West Junior High School, where he was the school's only black student. He excelled academically and was well liked by his classmates, who elected him class president. However, he later said that he felt that his classmates treated him more like the class pet than a human being. The turning point in Malcolm X's childhood came in 1939, when his English teacher asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up and he answered that he wanted to be a lawyer. His teacher responded, "One of life's first needs is for us to be realistic… you need to think of something you can be… Why don't you plan on carpentry?" Having thus been told in no uncertain terms that there was no point in a black child pursuing education, Malcolm X dropped out of school the next year at the age of 15.

                 In 1941, shortly after finishing eighth grade, Malcolm moved to Roxbury, a...
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