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But beyond pressing for demands or defending their interests, the organization was hostile to political involvement. That such an inward-looking religious sect was capable of substantial growth is a testimony to the widespread bitterness of large numbers of urban blacks. To hundreds of young recruits, the Nation of Islam represented self-respect, self-reliance, and pride.

The bold and articulate Malcolm X quickly became a pull for more militants to join the Nation of Islam, with appeals designed to highlight the hypocrisy of white elites. Yours is racism, but my reaction has nothing to do with racism. Malcolm X rejected the view that integration into American society was either possible or desirable and viewed the federal government and the Democratic Party not as allies, but as part of the problem. Far from leading the struggle, he saw them as containing it. He went on to attack the whole premise of nonviolence that underlay the Southern desegregation movement.

While Muhammad shunned politics, Malcolm was becoming more political. Aware that the growing politicization of the movement was having an effect on the Nation of Islam, including its leading spokesperson, Elijah Muhammad had taken measures to reassert his control. In April , a Black Muslim had been killed and several wounded by the Los Angeles police department.

But Elijah Muhammad prevented his followers from organizing a sustained self-defense campaign. Verbal radicalism, often extreme in its denunciations of whites, was acceptable in an earlier period when members of the Nation of Islam were establishing their reputation as opponents of the system.

But the explosion of anger among blacks demanded more than words; it demanded action, and that was one thing Elijah Muhammad would not countenance. The commentary about Malcolm X, and importantly the context in which those comments were made, were a great reminder. They made me want to go back to re-read The Autobiography of Malcom X. That is brilliant. Never saw that before.

Great post. I think as a country we have come a long way, but still have a lot of growth left. Diversity does not mean that we all are in agreement and sing campfire songs while holding hands. To me it is recognizing that there are differences, and learning to appreciate them instead of oppressing them. Not sure I agree with The Frugal Hostess though, I think there is too much shouting from both the left and the right, it seems at times that it is more about volume and repetition than about substance.


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In the beginning it is probably necessary to shout — to get attention, but I think it is important to quiet down to keep the attention. I think there is a lot truth to the saying if you want someone to think something is important, whisper. However, there were and are so many more that never get mentioned. I suggest a book by Dr. Dennis P. Charles Richard Drew I agree with The Frugal Hostess in thanking you for speaking about Malcolm X in a non dismissive manner.

Malcolm X - Wikipedia

He was progressive leader with a difference of opinion willing to speak his mind. Imagine how difficult it would be for Malcolm X to embrace new ideas when he was already famous for his old ones. That takes a lot of character and is a great lesson for all of us as we keep moving through life. For me, this is one of the most enlightening posts of yours. I was a casual reader till some days back.

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This one got my attention. I really appreciate the way you used the video snippets to explain your message.

Good Job! Thanks for the thought-provoking post and the reminder about Black History Month. Let me just say that the fact that you wrote this post and acknowledge Malcolm for the great leader he was says a lot about you. I have followed you for a long time and your principles are amazing. The smart business thing for you to do is praise King who I love and stay away from Malcolm. Big respect Chris! Your article was refreshing and well-developed! It was a refreshing glass of water, in an often desert! Thank you. Great post, Chris! Like many others here, I appreciate that you have developed and put forth your understanding of an oft-villified freedom fighter, who most certainly lived life unconventionally.

Many thanks. Thanks for starting Black History Month with a controversial figure. Malcom drew attention to a cause by being extreme. Like so many great leaders, non-conformists and movements, starting with a bang is how you bring much needed attention to an issue. Burning bras, burning draft cards, early gay pride parades.

I lived in San Francisco during all of this and saw the courage and conviction of ordinary people being extraordinary. Over time, leaders, movements and non-conformists seek and learn as they go and find a way to forgo the extreme and employ a method, a voice that people can hear. Perhaps not as extreme as Malcolm, but President Obama seems to be following this model.

Respect and gratitude to all.

What Would Malcolm Do?

The clip regarding his feelings about Kennedy, almost mirrors many quotes you can find from LGBT leaders regarding Obama. The quote you shared about progress and the knife blade just blew my mind. This has been a week of intense heartache for me, sense of betrayal, lots of questions. That quote made me step back from it all and realize that for any of us to heal, we have to pull that knife blade all the way out, and work actively on healing the wound.

I agree, The Autobiography of Malcolm X is a great book. Probably one of the few I read in college that stays with me. At the podium, Smith and Carlos received their medals shoeless but wore black socks to represent black poverty. Carlos had his tracksuit top unzipped to show solidarity with U. But if I did something bad, then they would say I am a Negro. We are black and we are proud of being black.

Thank you for this challenging contribution, especially written by a white man. I is great to have historical development brought up again in contemporary time. It makes you reflect on current developments and also inspires courage. Other countries can certainly learn from the civil rights movement in the States. The parallels are undeniable — descrimination in the work place, denial of equal federal rights and protections, denial of the right to marry the person you love.

The LGBT community has not yet come as far as the African American community in securing equal rights but, with sacrifice and persistence, I believe the US will one day be a country of full Equality. In South Africa we have a similar history — the wounds take long to heal if you are not prepared to help your neighbour.

I would also like to throw in that I get frustrated when folks are dismissive of any life stage—be it the idealism and exuberance of youth or the practicality and compassion of later years. Both mindsets are required for any kind of long-term substantive change. Many dismiss the radicalism of youth as absurd and the practicality of age as weak. I see folks doing that frequently with Malcolm X as you have stated. He has definitely inspired a lot of people and had many traits worth learn from and developing in our own lives.

Malcolm X: 10 Inspiring Quotes From the Minister & Human Rights Activist

The major media will probably get around to mentioning Malcolm X around the middle of the month, in passing. I am an avid believer that Malcolm X revolutionized the civil rights movement, although here in the UK it is often argued adversely. I believe the opposite, that his radical and straight-to-the-point messages were just what was needed to bring light to, and start to break down, the oppressive culture that was present at the time. Thank you for writing this. Harvard University Press. April 20, Retrieved November 2, Emphasis and second ellipsis in original.

London: Verso. Retrieved June 4, Retrieved July 11, The New Yorker. Retrieved April 27, Retrieved June 2, Naperville, Ill. Archived from the original on January 14, Retrieved May 31, A Historical Guide to James Baldwin. Retrieved October 16, May 20, The Grio. Retrieved March 28, Retrieved January 11, New York Amsterdam News.

Andrews, William, ed. Englewood Cliffs, N. Bloom, Harold New York: Chelsea House Pub. Bradley, David Transition 56 : 20— Carson, Clayborne New York: Ballantine Books. Cone, James H. Maryknoll, N. Davidson, D. Book Review Digest 61st ed. New York: H. Dyson, Michael Eric Gallen, David, ed. Greetham, David, ed.

Ann Arbor, Mich. Marable, Manning; Aidi, Hishaam , eds. Black Routes to Islam Hardcover ed. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Stone, Albert Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Terrill, Robert E. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Wolfenstein, Eugene Victor [].

London: The Guilford Press. Wood, Joe, ed. New York: St Martins Press. The Autobiography of Malcolm X 1st ed. Baldwin, James New York: Dell.

Malcolm X By Any Means Necessary

Cleage, Albert B. Goldman, Peter []. The Death and Life of Malcolm X 2nd ed. Urbana, Ill.

Who Speaks for Malcolm X? The Writings of Just About Everybody

Holte, James Westport, Conn. Lee, Spike ; Wiley, Ralph New York: Hyperion. Lomax, Louis E. Los Angeles: Holloway House. Perry, Bruce Barrytown, N. T'Shaka, Oba Richmond, Calif. Malcolm X at Wikipedia's sister projects. Malcolm X.