Malcolm X was once asked by a white journalist what he thought of the efforts of Martin Luther King to help blacks get the right to sit anywhere on the bus. He responded, “Having an opportunity to ride on the front, back, or middle of someone else’s bus doesn’t dignify you. When you have your own bus – then you have dignity.” Throughout his life, Malcolm exhibited a strong desire to not be “a slave.” Dropping out of school after being told a law career was no place for a negro despite doing well academically, or robbing white neighborhoods in Boston, Malcolm saw things in terms of us versus them, and always kept score. In the end, he may have lost his life to jealous rivals within his own community, encouraged by outside enemies, but he left an indelible impression on both whites and blacks in America that put him out ahead of most.
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— Timeline —
1925 – Malcolm X is born Malcolm Little in Omaha, Nebraska to two parents belonging to the pan-Africanist organization UNIA.
1945 – X returns to Boston, MA and expands his criminal career, predominately as a pimp, hustler and thief.
1946 – X is arrested for burglary and thrown into the MA prison system.
1947 – While in prison, X converts to the Nation of Islam.
1952 – X changes his name officially to Malcolm X, and is later released from the prison system. He quickly becomes a leading figure in the nascent civil rights movement and black Muslim movement.
1953 – FBI investigations in to X and the Nation of Islam begin, creating the subtext for many theories regarding X’s assassination.
1959 – X travels to United Arab Republic, Sudan, Ghana and Nigeria over the course of the year, believing that it is imperative he create international support for the African-American civil rights cause.
1960 – Fidel Castro and X meet inside of Harlem for a brief amount of time, solidifying his growing relationship to the Communist Cuban government.
1964 – X leaves the Nation of Islam, forming the Muslim Mosque, Inc. and Organization for Afro-American Unity. That same year, he meets Martin Luther King, Jr., and undertakes a pilgrimage to Mecca, KSA. In Mecca, X converts to Sunni Islam and begins a long journey across the MENA region.
1965 – Malcolm X is assassinated in Harlem, NYC while attempting to deliver a speech to his supporters. The three men charged with his assassination were associated with the Nation of Islam.
— References —
– French Revolution in San Domingo, Stoddard (1914)
– Voodoo Fire In Haiti, Loederer (1932)
– This Time The World, Rockwell (1961)
– A Visit From the FBI (February 4, 1964) – https://malcolmxfiles.blogspot.fr/2013/06/a-visit-from-fbi-february-4-1964.html
– Stan Bernard Interviews Malcolm X (February 18, 1965) – https://malcolmxfiles.blogspot.fr/2013/07/stan-bernard-interviews-malcolm-x.html
– The Ballot or the Bullet (April 3, 1964) – https://malcolmxfiles.blogspot.fr/2013/07/the-ballot-or-bullet-april-3-1964.html
– Malcolm X Autobiography, Haley (1965)
– Malcolm X, Lee (1992)
– Malcolm X’s Unlikely Washington Connections, Jones (2015) – https://blogs.weta.org/boundarystones/2015/02/21/malcolm-xs-unlikely-washington-connections