An Epic Poem 4 El Hajj Malik & Malcolm El Shabazz #MX50Forever by the Autobiography of Malcolm X, his life work and my relationship . They had to take him out in he was in Selma while MLK was locked down. A curation of quotes by and about Malcolm X. Quotes by Malcolm X . Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in a telegram to Betty Shabazz after the murder of Malcolm X. Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. lived very different lives and couldn't build a working relationship with each other ― until Malcolm embraced Islam.
Our home was burning down around us…I remember we were outside in the night in our underwear, crying and yelling our heads off. The white police and firemen came and stood around watching as the house burned down to the ground.
When the state welfare people began coming to our house…[t]hey acted and looked at [my mother], and at us, and around in our house, in a way that had about it the feeling — at least for me — that we were not people. In their eyesight we were just things, that was all. Yet nearly none of them had earned marks equal to mine…. It was then that I began to change — inside. He suffered both psychologically and physically as a result of the systemic racism and oppression he was exposed to, and externalized this in the form of anger and hatred.
As a result, Malcolm was often in trouble as a young man. Very likely, he is a school drop-out, the same as I was, an Army reject, psychologically unsuited to a job even if he was offered one, the same as I was. As Marable explains in his biography: Malcolm…was a product of the modern ghetto. The emotional rage he expressed was a reaction to racism in its urban context: Since by the s the overwhelming majority of African Americans lived in large cities, the conditions that defined their existence were more closely linked to what Malcolm spoke about than what [Martin Luther] King [Jr.
Consequently, he was able to establish a strong audience among urban blacks, who perceived passive resistance as an insufficient tool for dismantling institutional racism. It was while in prison that Malcolm discovered a new path though the aid of his brother, Reginald who had recently converted to the Muslim religion, and joined the organization of the Nation of Islam NOI.
Malcolm took to the teaching of the NOI leader Elijah Muhammad who preached self-empowerment, black self-reliance, and separatism from an oppressive white society. Malcolm believed this, and found an omnipotent ally in God, and in Muhammad himself.
Meeting in the Middle: The Forgotten Relationship of Malcolm X and MLK Jr.
Of course, the idea that man shares a likeness with God is profoundly empowering, and for Malcolm, this was the beginning of the unraveling of years of internalized racism. It was during this time that Malcolm changed his surname from Little, a slave name he came to reject, to X which was meant to signify an African tribal name that could never be known. Upon his release Malcolm became a devoted minister for the Nation of Islam, urging black people to transform their lives in the way he had transformed his own.
He preached the need to overthrow oppression by any means necessary and to build a separate black nation. Most whites and some African Americans, who were struggling for racial integration, viewed his teachings as dangerous. Malcolm X spent twelve years preaching the beliefs of Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam.
Following his travels, and discourses and discussions with people of various cultures, Malcolm returned a changed man with a changed message of self-empowerment tempered by tolerance toward all, preaching this not just to African Americans, but to people of all races. They managed to escape safely. Even though Malcolm firmly believed the perpetrators to be NOI members, their identities were never discovered. I had blind faith in [Elijah Muhammad], the same as many of you have had and still have blind faith in me or blind faith in Moses or blind faith in somebody else.
My faith in Elijah Muhammad was more blind and more uncompromising than any faith that any man has ever had for another man. But, being away, I could see him better, understand many things better. So, I feel responsible for having played a major role in developing a criminal organization [the NOI]. It was not a criminal organization at the outset. It was an organization that had the power, the spiritual power, to reform the criminal…. I know because I went into the movement with more negative tendencies than anybody in the movement.
An Epic Poem 4 El Hajj Malik & Malcolm El Shabazz #MX50Forever
It was faith in what I taught that made it possible for me to stop doing anything that I was doing and everything that I was doing…. I, for one, disassociate myself from the movement completely. Islam, as a religion, judges a man by his intention, by his behavior, by his deeds.
However, prior to his trip to Mecca, he had not recognized that unchecked racism can have a deleterious effect on any and all people subjected to it, not just African Americans. Though he remained steadfast in his prioritization of the social, economic, political, and psychological liberation of blacks, he acknowledged that not all white people are evil, and in fact, many can be allies in the global struggle for equality and justice.
He wrote to Betty Shabazz, his wife, while in Mecca about his initial realization: Now, you may not believe this, but I have eaten from the same plate, drank from the same glass, and prayed to same god with fellow Muslims whose eyes were blue, whose hair was blonde, and whose skin was the whitest of white, and we were all brothers, truly.
People of all colors and races believing in one God with one humanity….
Each hour here in this sacred land enables me to have a greater spiritual insight into what is happening in America. The American Negro can never be blamed for his racial animosity. In the past I have made sweeping indictments of all white people.
In His Speeches, MLK Carefully Evoked the Poetry of Langston Hughes
And these generalizations have caused injuries to some white folks who did not deserve them…. I am not a racist, and I do not subscribe to any of the tenets of racism. In all honesty and sincerity, it can be stated that I wish nothing but freedom, justice, and equality, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all people. At a New York college where Malcolm was speaking a year before his death, a black student rose and began attacking Jews…with practiced viciousness.
- An Epic Poem 4 El Hajj Malik & Malcolm El Shabazz #MX50Forever
- Martin Luther King Jr. met Malcolm X just once, and the photo still haunts us with what was lost
I judge you because of what you do and what you practice. Malcolm challenged whites to examine the policies and practices of racial discrimination…. Malcolm spoke about the destructive effects of racism upon both its victims and its promulgators.
Toward the end of his life he could image the destruction of racism itself…. A Global Human Rights Leader in the Making In his final years, Malcolm certainly embraced a more open and accepting vision of humanity, but it was not without his characteristic firebrand approach to human rights and social change.MLK vs. Malcom X
Respect as human beings! The black masses want not to be shrunk from as though they are plague-ridden. They want not to be walled up in slums, in the ghettoes, like animals. They want to live in an open, free society where they can walk with their heads up, like men and women.
So the first step that has actually been taken, brothers and sisters, since Garvey died, to actually establish contact between the 22 million Black Americans with our brothers and sisters back home was done by two organizations…. But the two most prominent leaders of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States in the ss, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr, only met each other once, and even then it was almost by accident.
It was on March 26,in Washington, D. Malcolm had come to the US Senate to attend a debate about civil rights. After it was over, he slipped into the back row of a nearby news conference of Martin Luther King Jr.
At the end of it, Martin left through one door, and Malcolm quickly slipped out of another one and stopped King in his path.
Meeting in the Middle: The Forgotten Relationship of Malcolm X and MLK Jr. - iHistory
Growing Up The tensions between the two men, which become clear in this encounter, had their roots in life experiences from long before either of them became involved in the Civil Rights Movement.
Martin was born infour years after Malcolm. Both were the sons of politically active Baptist preachers, so from an early age both were exposed to active resistance to the racism prevalent in American society at a time. By the end of the s, when Malcolm was only a teenager, his mother had been admitted to a mental asylum.
Martin, by stark contrast, fared well throughout the Great Depression as the son a prosperous religious leader. His father was an anti-racism activist, and this meant that Martin, too, suffered accordingly at the hands of racists, even to the point that Martin almost attempted suicide at one point. As he became an adult, Malcolm became involved in drug use and criminal activity, and he developed a resistance of resisting all authority — which quickly landed him in jail.
The specificity of the NOI left Malcolm unexposed and uninterested in the much broader subjects of black history and culture, and, more recently, the Civil Rights Movement.
But after such a traumatic childhood, he enjoyed his place in the NOI, as it gave him a sense of belonging and purpose. Martin, by contrast, not only attended university but also found much more positively inspiring role models than Elijah Muhammed to look up to as he joined the struggle for civil rights, in which Malcolm had a slight headstart.
But Martin had other advantages in this inadvertent race, such as the fact that he was a Baptist leader, and Baptism was the most common religious affiliation of African-Americans at the time. By the s, Malcolm had risen in the ranks of the NOI and become the most active advocate of its black supremacist knock-off of Islam. But by then Martin was the most popular leader of the Civil Rights Movement in the country. And it was probably at this point, in the mids, that Malcolm and Martin first became aware of each other.
Early Activism Their disagreements started off right then and there. Malcolm and the NOI were rejected, and from that point on Malcolm repeatedly tried to meet with Martin, and Martin repeatedly ignored him.
InMartin rejected two offers from Malcolm, the first to a debate-type event and the second to speak at a rally that Malcolm had organized in New York City. Nor could Martin continue to ignore his fiercest black critic, who was becoming increasingly popular among politically-active black youth. In his youth, there was no hope, no preaching, teaching or movements of nonviolence… and yet he possessed a native intelligence and drive which demanded an outlet and means of expression.
Malcolm] would talk less of violence, because violence is not going to solve our problem. Only a few months later, in earlyMalcolm made his famous hajj, or Islamic pilgrimage to Makkah.
He returned a changed man — no longer a member of the NOI, no longer a black supremacist, and now truly a Muslim and more open to working together with Martin and other leaders he had previously criticized.