Malcolm X: From Violence To Peace

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Malcolm X: From Violence to Peace
“I believe that it is a crime for anyone to teach a person who is being brutalized to continue to accept that brutality without doing something to defend himself” (“Malcolm X - Quotes, Movies & Children”). This quote came from a man who, like others in his time, took strong action to fight against the brutality put upon black people: Malcolm X. Malcolm, like other African-Americans in the 1900s, never had an easy life. From childhood to adulthood, he faced the brutality of racism that never parted with him until his death. He lived a life of crime with a mindset of violence, and then, shortly before his death, changed to a life and mindset of peace. Malcolm X took action to fight against racism as a civil rights …show more content…

This way of thinking was developed at a young age; as a teenager, he was a gang leader and a drug dealer, so violence was really all he knew. His violent mindset followed him into his adulthood, coming into light when he said, “You don’t have a peaceful revolution…There’s no such thing as a non-violent revolution” (“Malcolm X - Quotes, Movie & Children”). This method of fighting for black rights was loved by many and hated by others. On one hand, his methods of violence drew people to the Nation of Islam as his followers, growing the members of the group from 400 to 40,000 (“Time of Malcolm X’s Life | American Experience | PBS”). On the other hand, there were those who preferred peaceful methods and opposed him as a result, including Martin Luther King Jr. Even though they were fighting for the same thing, they had completely different views on how the civil rights movement should be led. It couldn’t have been easy taking on an opposite position as someone so loved in the civil rights movement with such a big following–maybe one of the biggest followings out of any civil rights leader. However, his motivation to fight for the rights of all African-Americans, no matter what it took, caused him to continue walking on a path of violence for some …show more content…

As previously mentioned, Malcolm was a member of the Nation of Islam, where his violent methods were highly appreciated. However, after his mentor and role model, Elijah Muhammad, went against his own teachings by committing adultery, he left the religion and went on a pilgrimage to Mecca (“Malcolm X - Quotes, Movies, & Children”). Here, he converted to traditional Islam and changed his mindset from one of violence to one of peace, stating that “The true brotherhood [he] had seen influenced [him] to recognize that anger can blind human vision” (“Malcolm X - Quotes, Movies & Children”). While Malcolm was a part of the Nation of Islam, he was only surrounded by those with the same point of view as him on how the civil rights movement should be approached. Now that he was involved with a different crowd, he had experience with both methods of fighting and chose the one that most appealed to him. By making this change in his life, Malcolm gained peace within himself, but lost his life. Malcom’s leaving of the Nation of Islam caused anger to brew within the members, and the anger became so intense that on February 21, 1965, one year after his conversion to Islam, he was assassinated by three members of the religion while giving a lecture at the Audubon Ballroom (Mamiya). It is important to keep in mind that Malcolm was aware of how much danger his life was in after he left the Nation of Islam

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