Malcolm X As A Prominent Figure And Leader Essay Samples
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"The future belongs to those who prepare for it today"
Among the most prominent leaders who have changed the world and contributed a lot to its development, there can be distinguished such extraordinary person as Malcolm Little though he is usually known as Malcolm X. The main question which is always asked by people is what does the letter "X" in this name mean? In fact, abbreviation of the English prefix "ex" means former: ex-Christian, ex-slave, ex-Negro. Though, for many people “X” means "very angry black man" which is undoubtedly a stereotype, Malcolm X was not born as Malcolm Little in Omaha, Nebraska ninety years ago. In order to touch upon the main issue which consists in the development of leadership skills of Malcolm X, it is necessary to mention the facts connected to his biography which contributed to his further becoming as a personality and a leader.
Orphaned Malcolm, felt loneliness and emptiness but still found the strength to continue studying and soon he became one of the best students in the class. Nevertheless, the school years impacted the young Malcolm negatively and contributed to his decision for the further fight for the human rights. Being the only black boy in the class, Malcolm left school after a teacher told him that his dream of becoming a lawyer was thought to be impossible telling the following words "you have to face it and know what it means to be a black man." This turning point which influenced the Malcolm’s perception of people and the world contributed a lot to becoming a crook on the streets of New York and Boston. Malcolm describes his biography: “I was at high school in Michigan. My second school was a ghetto in Boston, my college was Harlem, I got a degree in prison. Elijah Muhammad taught me not to be afraid of education of those who justify the crimes of white to black.”
Despite the fact that that he was jailed for robbery in the early 1950s, Malcolm joined the "Nation of Islam", also known as the "Black Muslims". This experience which oppresses the spirit and constricts the soul has not broken down Malcolm, on the contrary it helped him to reveal such characteristics as endurance, persistence and patience. Thus every single experience in Malcolm’s life eventually contributed to his development as the leader. Since 1934, the movement was led by Elijah Muhammad, whose commitment to strict self-discipline and sober lifestyle has transformed the lives of many hostile and engaged in illegal activities of the blacks. Malcolm abandoned his "slave name" and turned into Malcolm X, "the most evil of blacks in America." He became the most prominent spokesman of the Nation of Islam, called white "blue-eyed devils." Charming speaker, Malcolm X rejected the principles of non-violence Martin Luther King Jr., with whom he had met only once, and then by chance, and called the march on Washington in 1963 "Circus" and "betrayal". He insisted that blacks should resist oppression "by all possible means."
Subsequently, Malcolm was deeply disappointed by the lack of political and economic programs of the nation, while his own pilgrimage to Mecca convinced him that it is indeed possible - both in traditional Islam and the US – to equate the rights of the different races live. His departure from Elijah Muhammad ended in 1964, after Elijah temporarily removed him from the activity for the statement about the assassination of President Kennedy: "Chickens returning back home to roost never did not sadden." Despite the fact that this situation offended his self-esteem, pride and honor, Malcolm X remained unmoved relatively to the conceived objectives. Moreover, this was a pivotal moment which made Malcolm think more about the protection of many people’s rights as well as his personal ones. Considering this, Malcolm X started forming his ideas which were aimed on the fight for the rights of thousands of people. Practically each Malcolm’s action is saturated with the spirit victory or at least desire to set and achieve goals. This is definitely the evidence of how a true leader can show his skills and thus unite people.
The Malcolm’s clearly set goals to fight racism are obvious even considering his experience at school. In this way he was subjected to racial persecution throughout his life. His family, which had 8 children, several times been forced to relocate because of the constant threats from the Ku Klux Klan. Malcolm's father, Earl Little who was mentioned above was also black and when the family moved to Little Lansing (Michigan), in front of their house a little Malcolm was burned to the ground. This occasion was called by all neighbors as a “mysterious” one. After less than two years after this "mysterious" events Earl Little was found crushed by a tram outside Lansing. Authorities called the death a suicide, but the Black community has believed that it was the work of racists. Trying to get an answer on the most significant for Malcolm question whether it is allowed to break people’s rights or not and what exactly should be done in order to wipe out the racial segregation and discrimination.
Soon, Malcolm X became the chief representative of the racial separatism in America as well as participated in the movement against racism, which is completely different from the traditional human rights movement that was a certain peculiarity of the movement organized by Malcolm. He did a lot more simple demonstrations against racism, he opposed the specific problems that “infected” people. These demonstrations were also called “contagious” as they started to involve more and more people. Having an ability to be convincing enough to attract people and make them support your movement as an ability which inherent exclusively to leaders one of whom Malcolm X had been. Moreover, being a bright speaker, Malcolm X attracted to the organization a huge number of people, including boxer Cassius Clay who took the name after joining the organization and supported all Malcolm’s beginnings.
In a May 1964 speech, he talked about police violence in black communities. "Black people in America live in a police state," - he said. – “He does not live in any democracy. He lives in a police state.” In February, 1965 in Detroit speech Malcolm X once again turned to the problems of police brutality. This time, he stressed the role of the media which claimed “The press is used to make it (black man) like a criminal, and they (the police) similar to the victims,” - he said. This statement is considered a phenomenon that constantly takes place during the incident with the use of police brutality against black men who were killed in New York, Ferguson and other cities. By the mid-1960s, Malcolm X became a key figure in the human rights movement in America and considering his achievements and dedication to what he had been doing Malcolm X was even compared to Martin Luther King who united people in order to achieve change. Their acquaintance greatly influenced the way of thinking and evaluating the situation in general as Martin Luther King was a prominent figure in defending people’s rights.
Though some people may remark that Malcolm X sometimes advocated radical methods of struggling to get blacks to raise their heads, his actions were not distinguished with cruelty or violation of the people’s rights. However, in a society where most people were concerned with hostility toward people of another race, this strategy might seem the only way to influence public opinion. In any case, today, Malcolm X is thought to be one of the heroes of modern America, as he became influential figures after tumultuous 60's. He is a symbol of the country, proclaiming victory over racism. Just think, even some 50 years ago in the United States officially acted segregation, a café and transport "whites only" blacks were amazed many rights.
Mohammed Ali being drawn to the Malcolm’s movement published the newspaper “Nation of Islam”, “Mohammed says,” in the basement of his home. March 8, 1964, Malcolm X publicly announced his decision to leave the ranks of the “Nation of Islam” and soon after the commission of the hajj in his world there was a radical change: he abandoned black racism and all ideas that do not correspond to the doctrine of Islam. In Mecca, he felt an extraordinary sense of excitement when watching at the multilingual crowd of people gathered at the Hajj from different corners of the planet, jointly appealed to the One God, for which all people are equal, regardless of color or social status.
In Mecca, he became acquainted with these Muslims and suddenly discovered that Elijah Muhammad invented crazy religion of hatred and narcissism is not Islam. He changed his name to al-Hajj Malik al-Shabazz and returned to the States. In fact, visit to Mecca was one among the most influential periods of Malcolm’s life as exactly after this attendance Malcolm has understood his calling and decided that his mission is to help people. Above all, it helped him to reconsider his views according Islam and undertake new efforts to distinguish the peculiarities of this world religion which make this religion be unlike to others.
Malcolm X later recalled: “Being in the valley of Mina, near Mecca, I felt an extraordinary sense of excitement, seeing as multilingual crowd of people gathered at the Hajj from different parts of the world, turned to the One God. And I realized that for God all things are equal, regardless of color or social status.” And describing the flight from Cairo to Jeddah, he earnestly said: “Passengers on the plane were different: white, black, brown, red and yellow. Together, we - the brothers! All worshiped the same God, and is equal respect for each other.”
Having seen a real brotherhood which belongs to different races, there subconsciously appeared an idea to implement the main concepts of the equating all people and not paying attention and distinguishing those who have another color of the skin from others into reality and display all of the principles in the American society. On the basis of this example there can be clearly seen the behavior of Malcolm which proves that he was a leader as people who own such leadership qualities are first of all people who are determined which means be decisive when making up your mind. In addition, it is a person who is responsible for his actions and in this case Malcolm truly corresponds to the characteristics which should be owned by the world leaders.
Meanwhile, it was and remains misunderstood by most Americans. His struggle for equal rights of black empowerment was, in fact, the desire to make the whole society more equitable. But, interestingly, the official image of Malcolm is very dimly reflects his faith, and that's what made him a true hero. His comprehension of Islam, the search for justice in an address to the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace should be upon him), rather than the self-proclaimed Elijah Muhammad clown, about the experience of Hajj, commonly referred to as casual and do not willingly. Nevertheless, not all people have at first understood the main aim of Malcolm. As a result, after his return, Malcolm, being one of the most charismatic leaders, tried to discover the truth humanistic principles of Islam to his friends and colleagues. Some people listened to him, but from the others it encountered misunderstanding and opposition. Then Malcolm began to give lectures, which subsequently revealed the essence of true Islam.
It was Malcolm X who sparked interest in Islam, though in a very peculiar interpretation of Elijah Muhammad, in the hearts of many black Americans, among them famous all over the world today people - representatives of sports, the arts and sciences. Sharp wit and biting sarcasm of his oral presentations and journalism attracts a wide audience, from black to poor college students. Malcolm read a lot and well versed in classical philosophy and modern literature. Soon he became the most promising leader of the "Nation of Islam" and perhaps the most popular "prophet". There appears such a question whether he can be considered as the leader of the world scale. The answer would definitely “Yes” as having started to struggle racial segregation and touched upon it not only while thinking and doing some spiritual practices but acting. That is why this person is not only a spiritual leader in its close understanding but leader in general as he has contributed a lot to the development of the society.
In the letter to his close friends Malcolm wrote: “America needs to understand Islam, because it is the only religion that wiped out from the society the race problem. During my travels in the Muslim world, I have met, talked to, and even ate at the same table with people who in America would be called "white", but their "whiteness" was absent due to the religion of Islam. I've never seen such a sincere, true fraternal relations between people with different skin color.” The impact of religion has become an inseparable part of the Malcolm’s life and whether it helped him to unwind his leading idea or not is a controversial question. Nevertheless, in my opinion, this was a decisive push for him to emerge as a leader and feel the necessity of his mission which consists in establishment of justice around the whole world.
In the last months of his life, he again changed his name to al-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz and founded the Organization of Afro-American Unity. Unfortunately, before his new ideological concept was announced, he was brutally murdered in Harlem. Because of his murder US finally missed a chance to solve certain racial problems that remain till this day. The leader of this organization at the time of Louis Frakhan admitted some involvement of its members in this matter, but the accused in the murder of manipulation and stimulation of their own pettiness and weakness of the US government. According to Malcolm’s speech “People have the right to use all necessary measures to enforce their rights.” Taking into account all current attempts to restrict voting rights through laws to the identity of the voter and the like, today the words of Malcolm X are relevant to the same extent. Malcolm X occupies in the history of a very important place. 50 years ago people definetely lost a great leader in the prime of life.
Another proof of considering Malcolm as a leader is that in 1992, there was shot a movie on Malcolm: Malcolm X. The film shows the life story of Malcolm. In the US, he quickly paid for itself and has collected about 46 million, received very positive reviews from critics. If there was no attention to such bright and extraordinary personality as Malcolm X, there would be a movie-biography whose aim was to show how starting from the early ages, Malcolm has been fighting not only for the people’s rights, but for his personal opportunities to become a person, not to be afraid to enter the café as it could be “exclusively for white” and not to be afraid to prove people that they are worth having the same rights as all others.
So, such an outstanding figure as Malcolm X should be always remembered as a person who has contributed a lot to the development of the USA as the country which struggles for the racial segregation as being a multicultural country there should found a compromise and tolerant attitude towards people who may distinguish from others with the color of the skin. Despite this fact, Malcolm insists on not only accepting such people in a certain way but thinking of them equally to other people. According to Simanga (1998) “The Black Liberation Movement needs revolutionary leadership. Leadership that takes action and believes in the strength of our people. Leadership that prepares our people to win their liberation by any means necessary. Today we need leadership that’s in love with life and full of compassion.” The true value of the quote is that all the mentioned above was owned by Malcolm X who was courageous enough to think freely forgetting about limitations and overcoming boundaries which were put on his thorny path. Moreover, exactly such “revolutionary leadership” namely to unit people and make them believe in the ultimate goal is thought to be a part of the Malcolm’s total contribution.
Mamiya, A., L. (2013). Malcolm X. American Muslim leader. Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved from: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/359906/Malcolm-X
Yuhas, A. (2015). Malcolm X remembered as civil rights leaders grapple with new protest movement. The Guardian. Retrieved from: http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/feb/21/malcolm-x-daughter-shabazz-history-education-harlem
Edwards, B. (2011). MLK vs. Malcolm X (similarities/differences). Life Examinations. Retrieved from: https://lifeexaminations.wordpress.com/2011/03/14/mlk-vs-malcolm-x-similaritiesdifferences
Ali, Z. (2015). What really happened to Malcolm X? Cable News Network. Retieved from: http://edition.cnn.com/2015/02/17/opinion/ali-malcolm-x-assassination-anniversary/
Aguilar, O. (2015). Malcolm X: The Forgotten Civil Rights Leader. Record-Courier. Retrieved from: http://recordpub.com/opinion/2015/02/22/malcolm-x-the-forgotten-civil-rights-leader
Simanga, M. (1981). Malcolm X and Black leadership today. Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line. Retrieved from: https://www.marxists.org/history/erol/ncm-7/lrs-malcolm.htm
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