Malcolm X – Leader a Black Nationalist Movement

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This research paper is about the background of Malcolm X and how he came to lead a black nationalist movement in the 1950’s. He and his family were threatened by racism when he was young. This lead him to feel something less than white people.

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His father handled it by supporting a black nationalist group, and his mother ultimately broke and was admitted to a mental hospital. Malcolm, similar to his father, became a black nationalist leader. He went through many difficulties throughout his life that taught him about whites and the white supremacy groups. This is what led him to be strong and inspirational to others, but this is also why he said Blacks need to defend themselves by any means necessary.


Malcolm X was born on May 19th 1925, in Omaha, Nebraska. His birth name was Malcolm Little. He considered Little a slave name and chose the X to signify his lost tribal name( 2015, Biography). Malcolm was one of eight kids from his father and mother, Earl Little and Lois Little respectively. Earl Little was a baptist minister who was a supporter of black nationalist leader Marcus Garvey. Marcus Garvey was a leader of pan africanism. He founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association, a group of black nationalists who believed in a separate but equal status for African Americans. Marcus Garvey said If you want liberty you yourselves must strike the blow. If you must be free, you must become so through your own effort. Until you produce what the white man has produced you will not be his equal. This became a core belief that Malcolm X advocated during his career as a black nationalist himself. Since his father was getting heavily involved with black nationalist, many threats started coming his way. These threats were coming from white supremacist and the Klu Klux Klan. Before Malcolm turned four, he and his family had to relocate many times because of the threats. One of the houses they relocated to was burned down The police ruled it as an accident but Malcolm and his family believed it was the Klu Klux Klan or white supremacist. Malcolm experienced violence due to racism at an early age. His father was found lying across trolly tracks with his head beaten in, which was also ruled as an accident by the police. Malcolm X’s family found it hard to cope with the cruel death of his father. This caused his mother to have a mental break down throughout the years, and eventually was put in a mental hospital.

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