The sixties were filled with much hatred and animosity toward all who
were different. Violence, anger, and rage flared through the streets of
inner city neighborhoods. Being a minority in a country such as America
meant many different things to many different people. It was, and is, one of
the most controversial topics to have ever shaken America, then and now.
In the midst of all the mayhem and chaos, there were many people who
tried to rise up and tackle the very essence of this hatred: racism.
The "Black Panthers", a revolutionary group of educated blacks
took up arms against a cause they believed was worth dying for.
|Malcom X photo from Yahoo pics.|
Martin Luther King, Jr. was among one the best-known Civil Rights
leaders during that era. Famous for practicing and idolizing Gandhi for his
acts of non-violent protest, Dr. King believed that the black community
could and should unite with white folks and live in peace, despite the
blinding violence committed toward African Americans. During this time
it seemed apparent to many blacks that the luxuries and natural God-given
rights of humans would not be obtained through peaceful protests, but, when absolutely necessary, through
what they were experiencing daily: violence.
Malcolm Little was the
son of Earl Little who was an activist that looked up to the teachings of
Marcus Garvey, and served in the Universal Negro Improvement Association (U.N.I.A.).
Malcolm spent his early childhood listening to his father and learning to speak out
on what he believed.
Unfortunately, though Malcolm's father died in 1931 in a so-called "freak
accident." His father was supposedly run over by a trolley. But many
believe that he was murdered. Fatherless at six years old, Malcolm was
going through an emotional depression during the Great stock market crash in
the U.S. Times were rough and sad for the Little family as they tried to
over come the loss of the center of the family.
Malcolm also experienced many other hardships and troubles in his life. As a
fourteen year old in Lansing, Michigan, he was the president of his class
and a top student. At sixteen he was hustling for tips in a Boston night
club. At the age of nineteen he was leading a gang of burglars. And at
twenty he was in prison. There, in prison, is where Malcolm began his
journey toward the life of a Muslim and would eventually adopt the name
Malcolm X proved that no matter what the obstacles might be, anything is
possible through hard work an dedication. He went from bad to good and
displayed the great potential of a fantastic leader. Rising up from hard times
and trying to overcome the traps of a tough childhood was not easy. While
many in his shoes would have probably ended up on the streets, Malcolm
did not crumble even after landing in prison. He also showed that it is
never too late to change and overcome. He became one of the most
inspirational and motivational icons in history. Far too often is his story
forgotten. This is ultimately why I chose Malcolm X as my hero. His birthday even happens to be on the same day as mine. For these
and many other reasons I feel that I can relate to the story of Malcolm