Influences Characters – Malcolm X
Malcolm X was born on May 19, 1925 to a black mother and a father who was white. Malcolm’s father was murdered by racial fanatics and this incident was so traumatic for his mother that she had a mental breakdown that resulted in her being sent to a mental hospital for twenty-six years. Due to these circumstances, he moved from his home to live with his sister and work as a waiter in Harlem. It is here that his life changed its course; he got involved in deviance behaviors and was soon addicted to cocaine. He latter got involved with crime and was subsequently convicted of burglary and was imprisoned for ten years. In prison, he was exposed to Islam and thereafter converted to Black Muslim faith.
After his release, Malcolm got interested in the works of other Muslim activists especially Elijah Muhammad who was a leader of a sect known as Nation of Islam. It was after interactions with the sect doctrines and teachings that he removed his surname, Little to X. This is because he believed that their surnames had a reflection of their former slave masters. Due to his experiences of discrimination and hardships, he was very involved in the doctrines of the sect, which he saw as a platform of liberating the weak and the minority in the society who were oppressed by the strong and majority of the society. The weak and oppressed were the African Americans who had faced centuries of enslavement and latter on, racial discrimination. He was a very determined man, soon rose in ranks, and became one of the sects leading figures.
In his capacity as leader of the sect, he promoted its doctrines and emphasized on the importance of the black people and the need of them knowing their origin and believing in them selves. Though he rejected peaceful methods of attaining equality and even rejected racial integration, it can be said that he was frustrated by the slow pace of reforms and his influence of African states that had used violence as the last resort to attain their independence from their white colonialists. He had a great influence to his followers and whenever he spoke, he stirred the crowd due to his capacity to touch on the sensitive issues that affected them and give them hope that they shall overcome it.
Many Africans felt that he truly understood their impatience of waiting for freedom, justice, respect and equality better than any other civil rights movements who called for patience and diplomacy that did not yield any result. Due to his passion for the liberation of the Africans, he traveled to many countries in Asia, Africa and South America in a bid to understand how they overcame oppression to gain freedom, justice and respect that was not available in America. In his tours around the world, he asked for support from other countries sympathetic to his cause who pledged to support him and put pressure on America to stop the discrimination. However, there was growing tension between him and the sects’ leader who was envious of Malcolm’s popularity and Malcolm detested him for what he viewed as his in ability to lead to people to freedom. He therefore left the sect, founded his own and continued with his cause for the end of discrimination. However, he did not live to see his dream come as he was assassinated by members of Nation of Islam.
Malcolm is a great influence to the society and especially me, besides being born in harsh times that has traumatizing effects on anybody who underwent such turbulent times he did not allow his past to dictate his future for him. He was very ambitious and aggressive in what he believed and never swayed from his goals in life. When he discovered Elijah’s’ incompetence he left the sect to form his own which had the peoples interest at heart. He was also very brave and never shied from anything that threatened him. Before he was assassinated, he had received many threats on his life but this did not stop him from continuing his work. He was even photographed holding a machine gun as statement that he feared nothing and he was ready to defend his beliefs. He also had a great passion for knowledge and his people and never gave up on them even if it meant his life.