Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything

| July 4, 2020

Malcolm X once said, ‘Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything, if you are a man you take it.’ El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, الحاجّ مالك الشباز , Malcolm Little, Malcolm X, all represent a part of Malcolm from his birth on May 19, 1925 until his assassination on February 21, 1965.

Born Malcolm Little, on May 19, 1925 in Omaha Nebraska to his father, Earl Little and mother, Louise Norton, Malcolm grew up in a society surrounded by racism, discrimination on all sides of the law. Before Malcolm’s 21st birthday, he was sentenced to prison in 1946 for 8-10 years for larceny and burglary. However, keep in mind the year Malcolm was sentenced. In 1883, the case of Pace v. Alabama, the United States Supreme Court banned interracial marriage, a ruling it did not overturn until Loving v. Virginia in 1967. In 1946, it was seen as a crime to be involved with miscegenation. Malcolm having had a white girlfriend is very likely the reason why he was sentenced up to 10 years as opposed to the 5-6 just for burglary and larceny.

Malcolm X. Photo courtesy http://bostonreview.net/

Malcolm went through a 180 degree transformation while in prison. He soon found out that while he was in prison in the flesh, he had a choice regarding the imprisonment of the mind, and thus broke free from ‘white control’ of the mind. In prison he met other men and with their guidance he opened his mind to the world of reading.

In prison he was introduced to the teachings of The Honorable Elijah Muhammad through the Nation of Islam. It is here, where his image of becoming an iconic symbol took form.
When Malcolm left prison, he soon dropped his slave given surname of Little, and replaced it for the letter, ‘X’ for he did not know his last name. After his pilgrimage to Mecca in, he replaces his name with an Arabic name, El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz.
1953, Malcolm X was named assistant minister of the Nation of Islam’s Temple Number One in Detroit. This was just the beginning, as he led other temples and became widely recognized for Temple number Seven in Harlem. Once promoted to a full time minister, he quit his job with Ford Motor Company to devote his time and leadership to being a full time minister of the temple.

THE POWER OF A LEADER
Scene from the film directed by Spike Lee that demonstrates the people had respect for Malcolm without him having to speak. Article courtesy https://blacknowledge.wordpress.com/

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Category: African Caribbean, Culture & Society, Education

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