Civil Rights Journal: The Assassination of Malcolm X
October 8, 2012
Our headline today focuses on the breaking news of an assassination, an event which very well may be forever marked in the history books. On February 21, this year of 1965, Malcolm X was shot to death as he delivered a speech in Manhattan’s Audobon Ballroom in New York City at the age of 39.
Malcolm X, born as Malcolm Little and also known as El- Hajj Malik El- Shabazz, was born on May 19, 1925 in North Omaha, Nebraska into a family of black empowerment advocates. He was the fourth of seven children to Grenada-born Louise Norton Little and Georgia-born Earl Little. He was a member of the organizations the Nation of Islam, the Muslim Mosque Inc., and the Organization of Afro-American Unity, as well as played an avid role in the Black Nationalism and Pan-Africanism movements. Betty Shabazz was his wife of seven years, and together they were the parents of six children- Ilyasah Shabazz, Qubilah Shabazz, Attaliah Shabazz, Gamilah Lumamba Shabazz, Malaak Shabazz, and Malikah Shabazz. His body rests in the Ferncliff Cemetery. Malcolm X was an advocate for the rights of African Americans, a man who indicted white America in the harshest terms for its crimes against black Americans. Detractors accused him of racism, black supremacy, and violence. Malcolm X's father died—killed by white supremacists, it was rumored—when he was young, and at least one of his uncles was lynched. When he was thirteen, his mother was placed in a mental hospital, and he was placed in a series of foster homes until he eventually moved in with his half sister Ella in Boston. In 1946, at age 20, he went to prison for breaking and entering. In prison Malcolm X became a member of the Nation of Islam and after his parole in 1952 he quickly rose to become one of its leaders. Upon his release from prison, Malcolm took the name Malcolm X; “X” replacing his lost African surname. He traveled the country as a minister...
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