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Malcolm X - Essay Example

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Malcolm X

Malcolm writes: "My two other images of my father are two outside the home: he never pastured in any regular church of his own" (p. 7). Similar to his father, Malcolm created his own religion based on century-old traditions and values, morals and ideals. Malcolm's sister, Ella Collins, explained that Malcolm X was present at chapter meetings almost from birth. Political ideas and rebellious issues expressed in the meetings, formed personality of Malcolm and his life perception. Also, Malcolm admits that: "the image of him [father] that made me proudest was his crusading and militant campaigning with the words of Marcus Garvey (p. 8). Further, Malcolm became a militant leaders fighting for pride and self-determination of black people.
Malcolm's childhood was filled with the emerging urban culture of Black America. Malcolm's rooting in the U.S. working class was incomplete. Riding the rails as a porter and later established in Harlem, the cultural capital of the Black world, Malcolm X developed a deep, if only partly conscious, sense of the peoplehood of the African American. Malcolm admits that: "it was only me that he sometimes tool with him to the Garvey UNIA meetings which he held quietly in different people's homes" (p. 8). Similar to his father, Malcolm supposed that no Black man at this time could be easily and unequivocally rooted in the working class.
Malcolm's family and father was unusual in that it made the transition from the southern rural countryside to the northern urban city intact and started out as the nuclear family of the American Dream. During these years, Malcolm's father played both in the family and in the UNIA a strong leadership role. The "New Negro" concept embodied a new view of the role of Blacks in social change. It represented a further development of themes first seen in the Negro movement at the turn of the century. Malcolm's father was following a model of Black liberation popularized at this time. All these features have a great influence on Malcolm and his life aspirations. His father supposed that: "freedom, independence and self-respect could never be achieved by Negro in America" (p. 4). Further, Malcolm opposed this view fighting for racial equality and identity politics. To some extent, the full power of Malcolm's intellect was held in check due to the magnetism of his father's personality and the very special and personal role that he played in Malcolm's life. Political figure of his father had immense power and prestige, and obviously one that Malcolm X did not subject to his otherwise methodical scrutiny. It is possible to say that Malcolm used Black national ideas of his father and transform them into a separate national movement, but later expelled that nationalism from the NOI to protect its theology from internal criticism and to deflect an activist thrust which would lead to repression. For Malcolm, he embodied wisdom represented as a keeper of Negro's traditions and values. "I reflected many, many times to myself upon how the American Negro has been entirely brainwashed from ever seeing or thinking of himself, as he should, as a part of the nonwhite peoples of the world" (p. 56). These ideas helped Malcolm to create a framework for the reformulation of Black nationalism in a more internationalist and revolutionary manner and thus facilitated the linking of the Civil Rights movement with the ...Show more


Malcolm X was one of the most important national leaders who fought for equal rights, racial equality and self-reliance. In his autobiography, Malcolm X vividly portrays casualties of life and hardship experienced during his childhood. Thesis A strong bond with his father had a great impact on personal values, national ideas and life philosophy of Malcolm X.
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Malcolm X essay example
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