The name Malcolm X is often associated with “Nationalism to Islam.” He was one of the few prominent Black American Muslim activists. He was raised in an environment full of racism and discrimination, which made him unable to concentrate well on his education. At the age of fifteen, Malcolm X dropped out of school after a white teacher discouraged him from his ambition to become a lawyer. This drove him to engage in illegal activities and vices. In 1946, he was sent to prison for eight years for robbery. I came to know about Malcolm X when we discussed how Islam aided in eliminating Segregation in America.
While still in prison, Malcolm was introduced to Nation of Islam (NOI) by Reginald in 1948. Abdullah (2) said that Muslim gave Malcolm a direction and spiritual uplift that he never had. Malcolm was released in 1952 after which he joined Nation of Islam, headed by his mentor Elijah Muhammad. He was nominated the minister in NOI where he used his position to preach segregation and Black supremacy. He left NOI in 1964 after discovering Muhammad had an affair with six women of NOI, which was against Islamic teachings.
In 1964, Malcolm came up with “Organization for Afro – American” which advocated Black Supremacy. In April, the same year, Malcolm went to Mecca for his Pilgrimage, which transformed him into a new man. He advocated for unity among all races in America. In his speech, he said, “American needs to understand Islam, because this is the one religion that erases from its society the race problem” (Abdullah 3). After Pilgrimage Malcolm found true enlightenment of Islam and the meaning of brotherhood, unlike racism that was being preached by NOI. He used Islamic to bring reconciliations between Blacks and Whites of America.
Abdullah, A. K. “Malcolm X: Nationalism to Islam.” (2018).