Black History Month: Malcom X

Malcolm X, born Malcolm Little, was a Black activist in the United States. He changed his last name to X to signify the last name of his African ancestors who were robbed of their own names when they were enslaved. He was a widely controversial advocate for Black rights through his opposition of integration and peaceful protesting. He believed that separation, as opposed to segregation, was necessary.  X defined separation as political and economic freedom to choose to live in Black neighborhoods without opposition or control from White people.

 “They don’t call Chinatown in New York City or on the West Coast a segregated community, yet it’s all Chinese,” X said. “And they don’t feel like they’re being made inferior because they have to live to themselves. They choose to live to themselves. They live there voluntarily. And they are doing for themselves in their community the same thing you do for yourself in your community.”

He was a follower of the Islamic faith, and he founded the Muslim Mosque Inc. (MMI).  His outlook on racial issues was that Black people should not conform to the classic ‘peaceful protest will get our rights back’ ideology. X believed that that mentality was encouraged by White people so they could continue to discriminate against Black people. He was allegedly assassinated by Thomas Hager on Feb. 21, 1965. However, the case still remains a question to many people. He had a historical legacy that is celebrated with tributes such as statues and street names. During Black History Month, he is celebrated for his contribution to Black activism.