June 18, 2009
Malcolm Little (aka Malcolm X) viewed racism in America as dehumanizing to African Americans and that African Americans were treated with indifference and discrimination. During his lifetime, Malcolm X experienced firsthand how racism affected the lives of African Americans including himself, his family and friends. With some of his first encounters with whites being so terrifying and horrific the firsthand experience was the beginning of his views on how America allowed such treatment to exist. Malcolm X lived during a period in American history when racism and civil rights were at the forefront. This essay will explain what led to his views of racism in America and how his views changed. It will also explain why he embraced the Nation of Islam Muslim organization which works toward the change for the better of African Americans in an array of areas, including spiritual, financial, and social. I will argue why he left the Nation of Islam after he helped strengthen the Nation of Islam membership. Malcolm lost his father Earl Little when he was six years old. Earl Little was viciously beaten by a white mob and run over by a trolley in Lansing, Michigan (Bloom, 2008). The death of his father divided his family. After the father’s death, Malcolm’s mother, Louise Little, struggled to raise him and his seven siblings. The pressure of trying to raise eight children on welfare and the horrific death of her husband, Louise Little eventually had a nervous breakdown and was ultimately institutionalized. Malcolm and his siblings were then separated and placed in orphanages. For Malcolm, the role the state agency plays in breaking up his family became symbolic of how deeply racism is ingrained in society and its institutions. He stated “I truly believe that if ever a state social agency destroyed a family, it destroyed ours. We wanted and tried to stay together. Our home didn’t have...