Malcolm X(X), the great African-American warrior waging the war against racial inequality.
There was a long struggle against racial inequality in America, in which many great leaders played their important role. In all this, the name of Malcolm X has a different identity.
People of European descent began to conquer other continents of the world at the end of the 15th century. In America, the native people were massacred on a large scale by them. In this vast untouched region of the world, there was a lot of land available for cultivation, but there were no workers. They began abducting people of African descent from their countries and bringing them to America as slaves. It was from here that such a story of atrocities began, which was as terrible and heart-wrenching as the caste system of India.
In 1861, there was a civil war between the North and South American states over its end. It was legally abolished after the victory of the northern camp, but it persisted at the grassroots level.
For its complete elimination, people of African origin themselves took the reins. Leaders like Frederick Douglass, Booker T Washington, Marcus Garvey laid its strong foundation. Going ahead, a name was added to it, whose aggression changed its entire direction.
This famous leader named Malcolm X was born on May 19, 1925 in the city of Omaha, Nebraska, USA. His father’s name was Earl Little, who apart from being a Christian pastor, was also a preacher of Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA). These activities led to attacks on them by racist Europeans. Fed up with the whole family, he moved to Milwaukee for some time and then to Lansing, Michigan.
According to Malcolm, his father was the only one of all the siblings to take him with him to UNIA events. Because of his activism, the racist people here also did not allow him to live in peace. In 1931, his body was found on the tracks of the tram. It was suspected that after his murder his body was dumped on the tracks.
The responsibility of the whole family fell on his mother, Louise Little; The shock of losing her husband gripped her mentally. Eventually he was put in a mental asylum.
Arrangements were made to keep Malcolm and all his siblings with separate families. Malcolm continued his schooling even in these difficult circumstances. He was one of the top children in the school, where almost all European white children studied. It was here that such an incident happened, which gave a new turn to his life. When he passed 7th grade with top marks, one of his European white teachers (at that time there was little education among black people) asked him about the future, what do you want to be when you grow up? Malcolm expressed his desire to become a lawyer. On hearing this the teacher said that you are a good student, but do not forget that you are a black African and European white will never give you this chance in this country. You are also good at hand jobs, you should think of becoming a carpenter.
According to Malcolm himself, this incident shook his entire mental balance. He realized for the first time that being promising didn’t matter in a country where the ruling Europeans hated him. He somehow passed 8th, but now his mind was completely out of studies.
His eldest sister, Ella, lived in the city of Boston, Malcolm wrote to her expressing her desire to settle there and moved there. After a few years of odd jobs, Malcolm got a job on a train from Boston to New York. In 1942, at the age of 17, he moved to “Harlem”, a territory of black people in New York, which was then the largest settlement of African people in the whole world. Here he did all kinds of mawwali work and after getting into some controversies he returned to Boston.
After being engaged in illegal activities in New York, he could not get rid of it even in Boston. In February 1946, the court sentenced him to ten years in prison for stealing a watch.
Here in the prison again such an incident happened, due to which Malcolm’s life took a turn again. After serving a year in prison, he met another African prisoner, “Bimby”, who was known for his good thoughts. He told Malcolm that you are a smart man and you should make good use of it. He advised reading to the library built in the prison, and from here Malcolm developed a deep relationship with books. According to him himself, he got his education from books and library only.
In 1948, his brother Filbert wrote to him in prison that he had joined an organization called “Nation of Islam”, which was headed by Elijah Mohammed. Soon more members of his family also joined him. They were told about the organization fighting for the freedom of African people who were enslaved in America.
Impressed, Malcolm started a dialogue with Elijah Mohammed from the prison itself. Malcolm was so impressed by this movement against racial discrimination that he himself made up his mind to jump into this fight. A rich man donated all his books to the prison library. He took full advantage of his free time and read hundreds of books, which could help him in this struggle.
He came to know about the pitiable condition of his people and also started showing ways of how to get rid of it. Leaders such as Marcus Garvey and Elijah Mohamed himself believed that Africans should leave America and return to their continent. It is almost impossible for two different races to live happily together in a country, even when such bitterness has developed between them. Another way was to make a part of America a separate country so that African people could establish their own exploitation there.
Malcolm’s “Revolution” (revolution) also had a very blunt view that revolution does not mean joining any system but to overthrow the old system and create a new system.
Malcolm was released in 1952 after serving a little over six years in prison. On the advice of older sister Ella, he returned to the province of Michigan, where most of his family was still living. In the same year, at an event in Chicago, he met Ilaija Mohammed, the founder of the “Nation of Islam”. He was given the name X (X, which means former in English) after his name. This organization believed that because the tribes of black people were not their own, but those Europeans who bought their ancestors as slaves. That’s why they no longer want to associate themselves with a name that symbolizes their slavery.
Malcolm began participating in the activities of the “Nation of Islam” shrine called the “Temple” in Detroit. Soon his hard work started increasing his membership. In view of this, in 1953 he was made assistant minister of Detroit Temple No. In March 1954, Malcolm became the minister of Philadelphia, Temple, and in the same year he was appointed back as a minister in his favorite city, New York. He was married in January 1958 to Betty X, an activist of the same organization.
From 1953 to 1963, Malcolm’s hard work, charismatic personality, aggressive attitude and limitless knowledge brought the “Nation of Islam” into the limelight not only of America but all over the world. Soon he was counted among the greatest American leaders of African origin. He started being called to give his views in the biggest universities of the country. His interviews started happening in all the big newspapers and TV channels. He was repeatedly asked whether he was promoting violence. In response, he would clearly say that any ideology that wants to give a peaceful answer to the violent attack on you, I consider it as “Criminal Philosophy”. Malcolm believed that African people living in America had been enslaved mentally, spiritually, economically and politically and therefore we had to free them on all these fronts. In this short span of just ten years, America saw the rise of a powerful movement of the African people.
Few people know that he was also the religious guru of boxing world champion “Mohammed Ali”.
But in the midst of all this, due to some internal disputes going on in the “Nation of Islam” in 1963, he was expelled from this institution. In 1964 he went to Mecca to perform Hajj and on 21 May he visited several African and Arabic countries; Where he got a lot of respect, he returned to America. He completely separated himself from the “Nation of Islam” and founded the Organization for Afro-American Unity to unite people of African descent on the basis of race.
He started receiving death threats and the whole family was also attacked with deadly bombs at his house during the night. On February 21, 1965, as he began his speech in the halls of the Audubon Ballroom in Manhattan, New York, assailants opened fire on him and he was pronounced dead at the hospital.
With this, the struggle for the freedom of the people of African origin in America suffered a major setback. This society, which has been enslaved for more than 400 years, has lost an extraordinary leader from whom it had kept all hopes of its freedom. A leader who could never put his personal interest above the society. Although Malcolm is no more with us today, his ideas have influenced more African-Americans than any other leader has.
His birthday on May 19 is celebrated with great fanfare not only in America but all over the world wherever people are fighting against inequality and inequality. His autobiography is one of the most widely read books in the world, being included in Time Magazine’s list of the ten most important true story books of all time. Based on this, in 1992 Hollywood director Spike Lee’s superhit film named “Malcolm X” was also made, in which famous actor Denzel Washington played the role of Malcolm. He was also selected for the Oscar Award.
One of Malcolm’s most aggressive thoughts was one of the very popular ideas: “Keep calm, be friendly, obey the law, be respectful to all; But if someone attacks you, take him to the graveyard.”
Many many congratulations to those fighting the war against discrimination and inequality all over the world on the 95th birthday of Malcolm X on May 19, 2022.