The Significance of the Role of Malcolm X on African American Activists

Topics: Martin Luther King, Jr., Black people, Malcolm X Pages: 5 (1628 words) Published: February 6, 2013
To what extent was the role of Malcolm X significant in the rise of radical African American activism (1965-1968)?

A. Plan of the Investigation
To what extent was the role of Malcolm X significant in the rise of radical African American activism (1965-1968)? This investigation will assess the significance of Malcolm X’s significance in giving rise to African American activism. Malcolm X’s motives, involvement in the civil rights movement and his leadership will all be discussed in order to understand the extent of his significance. To add further understanding and provide justification a summarization of evidence will be included. Also, an evaluation of sources will allow for details which provide justification in saying that Malcolm X’s role was significant; both sources being evaluated in their origin, purpose, value and limitations. B. Summary of Evidence

Malcolm X, initially born under the last name Malcolm Little in 1925. Later on life he adopted X, which became a symbol to represent his lost past, particularly the rejection of his “slave” name. Malcolm X was an activist and an outspoken public voice for the Black Muslim Faith who challenged the civil Rights movement and the non-violent pursuit of integration that was led by Martin Luther King Jr. Malcolm X was an activist who believed that non-violent acts would achieve nothing in receiving racial equality, he believed that people had to take action. He once said “it is criminal to teach a man not to defend himself when he is the constant victim of racial attacks.” Malcolm X was so significant to the rise of radical African American activism because he is one of the two most important and influential black leaders during the late 20th century. Malcolm X rearticulated and gave African Americans clarity as to who they are, what their problems were and how to solve them. He did this by speaking about the black radical tradition which consisted of ideology, class and culture. And he made many African Americans energized to take action. Also, Malcolm X was an advocator of black pride which led more people to follow him and his ideas. Malcolm was such a powerful leader and activist that he gave way to some black art activists, which is interesting because art was not his main focus. Malcolm wanted blacks to learn about their roots and gain and understanding of their heritage, therefore he made it a central part of the Organization of Afro-American Unity which in turn furthered radical black art activists. Malcolm X gained this desire when he partook on a journey through North Africa and the Middle East. Malcolm’s desire for wanting blacks to understand their heritage also promoted the rise of cultural nationalism within the Black Panther Party. C. Evaluation of Sources

Malcolm X and the Black Arts Movement by James Smethurst was published by Cambridge University Press in the year of 2010. The purpose of this source is to demonstrate how Malcolm X was deemed such a commanding figure and brought rise to Black activists, even in the arts, a subject that Malcolm X rarely spoke about. The value of this source lies within the author’s description of how Malcolm X was a leader and how he inspired many people to rise and take a stand, especially in the arts. For example: X did not touch on the subject of arts as often as his did race in his speeches. However, some Black art activist came to see him as a commanding figure. This source is limited due to its lack of detail. This source mainly gives brief description on how Malcolm X laid the foundation for different types of Black activists but does not go in depth about what he did to influence these activists.

Malcolm X: A powerful black leader who fought for human rights by Sharrod Patterson was published by the student newspaper of Winston-Salem University in the year of 2007. The purpose of this source is to identify Malcolm X’s rise to becoming a world renowned activist. The value of this source lies in the...

Cited: Eric Foner and John A. Garraty, eds., The Reader’s Companion to American History (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 1991) (accessed November 29, 2012)
William W
Bio. True Story, “Malcolm X Biography,” The Biography Channel Website. (accessed November 29, 2012)
Teachers ' Domain
[ 4 ]. William W. Sales, Jr., “The Legacy of Malcolm X,” Online Publication. (accessed November 29, 2012)
[ 5 ]
[ 9 ]. Sharrod Patterson, “Malcolm X: A Powerful Black Leader Who Fought for Human Rights,” Student Newspaper of Winston-Salem University, February 19, 2007.
[ 12 ]. . Bio. True Story, “Malcolm X Biography,” The Biography Channel Website. (accessed November 29, 2012)
[ 13 ]
[ 17 ]. Teachers ' Domain. "Malcolm X: Black Nationalism.” 18 Jun. 2004. Web. 5 Dec. 2012. .
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