The life of Malcolm X.

Essay by damassterHigh School, 12th grade May 2003

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Malcolm X

Malcolm X was previously known as Malcolm Little, a typical young boy who wanted to fulfill his dreams to succeed in life and become a lawyer. However, racism impeded him from becoming whom he yearned to be. As Malcolm enthusiastically informed his teacher he aspired to become a thriving lawyer, the teacher crushed his dreams by exclaiming, "Malcolm, one of life's first needs is for us to be realistic... But you've got to be realistic about being a nigger. A lawyer- that's no realistic goal for a nigger. You need to think about something you can be" (Haley, 1964, p. 43). This was one of Malcolm's first personal encounters with racism which lead to many more through out his journey to achieve. Malcolm rose above and beyond the expectations his peers had about him and conquered all obstacles placed in his way by society to become one of the most controversial and influential black rights leaders in American History.

Malcolm grew up in the 1920's to the 1960's where racism was unfortunately a common occurrence. The blacks considered Booker T. Washington to be "Uncle Tom." This meant that he would turn in all the blacks in order to be accepted by the whites. However, the blacks were mistaken. Washington tried to make a place for the blacks, helping them fit in, and he tried to persuade the whites to give equal rights to everybody, including the blacks. All men are created equal. This statement was the basis of the civil right movements of the 1960's. Malcolm X was a man who promoted a society in which everybody would be respected equally. He believes that blacks should achieve that goal no matter how it is done. In a time when blacks were not allowed to sit in the...