Education Malcolm X.

Education Malcolm XCourtesy:(Al Jazeera)
Education Malcolm X
Courtesy:(Al Jazeera)

Malcolm X was one of the most influential and controversial figures of the 20th century.

He was a leader and activist who advocated for the rights and dignity of Black people in America and around the world.

He was also a self-taught man who acquired his education through his own efforts and experiences.

In this article, we will explore the education of Malcolm X and how it shaped his life and legacy.

Early Education and Challenges

Malcolm X was born as Malcolm Little in Omaha, Nebraska, on May 19, 1925.

His father was a Baptist minister and a supporter of Marcus Garvey, a Black nationalist leader who promoted the return of African Americans to Africa.

His mother was a homemaker and a teacher who instilled in him a love of reading and learning.

Malcolm had seven siblings and lived in various states, such as Michigan, Wisconsin, and Massachusetts, due to his father’s work and the threats of violence from white supremacists.

Malcolm was a bright student who excelled in school.

He attended mostly white schools and was often the only Black student in his class.

He enjoyed learning and reading, especially about history and geography.

He also had a talent for public speaking and debating. He aspired to become a lawyer and had the support of some of his teachers.

However, he also faced racism and discrimination from some of his classmates and teachers.

One of his teachers told him that being a lawyer was “no realistic goal for a nigger” .

This discouraged him from pursuing his dreams and made him lose interest in school.

Malcolm dropped out of school after completing the eighth grade. He moved to Boston to live with his half-sister Ella, who was a successful businesswoman.

He worked various jobs, such as shining shoes, washing dishes, and selling sandwiches.

He also became involved in the street life of Harlem, New York, where he moved later.

He adopted the nickname “Detroit Red” because of his red hair and his hometown.

He became a hustler, a drug dealer, a gambler, a pimp, and a thief. He also became addicted to cocaine and other drugs.

Prison Education and Transformation

Malcolm’s life of crime caught up with him when he was arrested for burglary in 1946.

He was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

He was 20 years old at the time. It was in prison that Malcolm began his education anew.

He learned about the Nation of Islam (NOI), a religious movement that taught that Black people were the original people of the world and that white people were devils who oppressed them.

He learned about this movement from his siblings who had joined it and from other inmates who were followers of it.

He also wrote letters to Elijah Muhammad, the leader of the NOI, who became his mentor.

Malcolm also educated himself by reading books from the prison library.

He read books on various topics, such as history, philosophy, religion, politics, sociology, psychology, biology, and literature.

He read books by authors such as W.E.B. Du Bois, Booker T.Washington, Frederick Douglass, Mahatma Gandhi, Leo Tolstoy, John Locke, David Hume, Voltaire, Thomas Paine, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, George Bernard Shaw, H.G. Wells .

He also read dictionaries and encyclopedias to improve his vocabulary and knowledge.

Malcolm’s prison education transformed him into a new person.

He changed his name from Malcolm Little to Malcolm X to signify his rejection of his slave name and his unknown African ancestry.

He converted to Islam and became a devout follower of Elijah Muhammad. He quit smoking, drinking, gambling, and using drugs.

He became disciplined, focused, and determined to make a difference in the world.

Post-Prison Education and Activism

Malcolm was released from prison in 1952 after serving six years.

He became a minister for the NOI and traveled across the country to spread its teachings and recruit new members.

He established mosques in Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta , Harlem, Chicago , Detroit , Los Angeles , San Francisco , Newark , Washington D.C., Baltimore , Cleveland , Houston , Miami , New Orleans , Denver , Seattle , Portland , Phoenix , Milwaukee , St Louis , Omaha , Minneapolis , Indianapolis , Cincinnati , Louisville , Memphis , Nashville , and other cities.

He also became the editor of the NOI’s newspaper, Muhammad Speaks, which he used to disseminate his views and opinions.

Malcolm continued his education by reading newspapers, magazines, journals, and books on current affairs and world events.

He also listened to radio broadcasts and watched television programs.

He became aware of the civil rights movement, the anti-colonial struggle, the Cold War, the Cuban Revolution, the Vietnam War, and other issues that affected Black people and oppressed people around the world.

He also learned from his interactions with people from different backgrounds, cultures, religions, and ideologies.

He met with leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr., Fidel Castro, Kwame Nkrumah, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sukarno, Ahmed Ben Bella , and others.

Malcolm became a prominent and influential figure in the Black community and beyond.

He was admired for his eloquence, charisma, courage, and intelligence.

He was also feared and hated by his enemies, who saw him as a radical, a demagogue, a separatist, and a threat.

He challenged the status quo and advocated for Black nationalism, self-defense, self-reliance, self-respect, and self-determination.

He criticized the racism, injustice, violence, and hypocrisy of white America and its allies.

He also criticized the civil rights movement for being too moderate, passive, and dependent on white support.

He called for Black unity and solidarity with other oppressed people around the world.

Final Education and Legacy

Malcolm’s education took a new turn in 1964 when he broke away from the NOI after discovering the moral and financial corruption of Elijah Muhammad. He also became disillusion.

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