One of the most influential leaders in the USA was Malcolm X. He was born Malcolm Little on May 19, 1925. His father Earl Little, a Baptist minister and supporter of Black Nationalist leader Marcus Garvey was kill by the white supremacist organization Black Legion in Lansing, Michigan while Malcolm was very young. The murder of his father left the sole responsibility of the family to his mother, Louis Norton Little. She was a homemaker whom now had to provide for eight children.
Malcolm was a very good student and had aspirations to become a lawyer but one of his schoolteachers told him this was “no realistic goal for a nigger”. After many family and personal challenges Malcolm would end up in prison. Using his time wisely he would study the teaching of the Nation of Islam Leader Elijah Muhammad.
Malcolm was instrumental in the growth of the membership of the Nation of Islam from 500 in 1952 to 30, 000in 1963. His popularity and message also helped the cause of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. The media and mainstream America would prefer that a less aggressive tone be presented as the message to the oppressed Americans.
An excellent book that does a contrast and comparison of Malcolm X and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King is “Martin and Malcolm and America A Dream or A Nightmare” written by James H. Cone.
Malcolm X departure from the Nation of Islam was a result of his learning that Elijah Muhammad had fathered children out of wedlock with six women in the Nation of Islam.
After his departure from the Nation of Islam he went to Mecca and learned of Islam from to different point of view. Upon his return he founded the Muslim Mosque, Inc.
On February 21, 1965, as Malcolm X prepared to address the Organization of Afro-American Unity in Manhattan’s Audubon Ballroom he was assassinated.
Please read his Autobiography for more detailed information on this great man.