Saturday, February 21, 2009
Malcolm Little, the son of an African American Baptist preacher, Earl Little, was born in Omaha, Nebraska, on 19th May, 1925.
Little moved to Boston to live with his sister. In 1946 he was convicted of burglary and sentenced to ten years imprisonment. While in prison he was converted to the Black Muslim faith. Little visited Elijah Muhammad in Chicago, Illinois. Then, like many members of the Nation of Islam, he changed his surname to "X". Malcolm X was named assistant minister of the Nation of Islam's Temple Number One in Detroit. By late 1953, he established Boston's Temple Number Eleven. In March 1954, Malcolm X expanded Temple Number Twelve in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Two months later he was selected to lead the Nation of Islam's Temple Number Seven in Harlem. He rapidly expanded its membership. From his adoption of the Nation of Islam in 1952 until he left the organization in 1964, Malcolm X promoted the Nation's teachings.
In March 1964 Malcolm left the Nation of Islam and established his own religious organization, the Organization of Afro-American Unity. Malcolm X spoke before a wide variety of audiences in the United States. He spoke at regular meetings of Muslim Mosque, Inc., and the Organization of Afro-American Unity. He was one of the most sought-after speakers on college campuses. After a pilgrimage to Mecca, Malcolm rejected his former separatist beliefs and advocated world brotherhood. Malcolm now blamed racism on Western culture and urged African Americans to join with sympathetic whites to bring to an end. The Nation of Islam and its leaders began making threats against Malcolm X both in private and in public.
On March 1964, Malcolm X publicly announced his break from the Nation of Islam. He said that he was still a Muslim, but he felt the Nation of Islam had "gone as far as it can" because of its rigid religious teachings. Malcolm X founded Muslim Mosque, Inc., a religious organization, and the Organization of Afro-American Unity, a secular group that advocated black nationalism. Malcolm X made a speech titled "The Ballot or the Bullet" in which he advised African-Americans to exercise their right to vote wisely. Several Sunni Muslims encouraged Malcolm X to learn about Islam. Soon he converted to Sunni Islam, and decided to make his pilgrimage to Mecca.
On February 21, 1965, in Manhattan's Audubon Ballroom, Malcolm X began to speak to a meeting of the Organization of Afro-American Unity when a disturbance broke out in the crowd. A man yelled, "Nigger! Get your hand outta my pocket!" As Malcolm X and his bodyguards moved to quiet the disturbance, a man rushed forward and shot Malcolm X in the chest with a sawed-off shotgun. Two other men charged the stage and fired handguns, hitting him 16 times. Malcolm X was pronounced dead shortly after he arrived at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital.
Talmadge Hayer, a Black Muslim also known as Thomas Hagan, Norman 3X Butler and Thomas 15X Johnson, all members of the Nation of Islam.
was convicted for the assassination.
And you dare to call me coloured...
"When I'm born I'm Black, when I grow up I'm Black, when I'm in the cold I'm Black, when I'm in the sun I'm Black, when I'm sick I'm Black, when I die I'm Black. And you... When you're born you're Pink, when you grow up you're White, when you're in the cold you're Blue, when you're in the sun Red, when you're sick you're Green, when you die you're Purple. And you dare to call ME a coloured....".