Before we get into his rise to national prominence, let’s take some time to talk about who he was as an individual. He was born Emantic “EJ” Bradford Jr in St Petersburg, Florida on December 1st 1922. His parents were both very religious individuals with his father serving as a pastor at various churches around town.
He had one younger sister and two older brothers. All of them helped shape his childhood self-identity and beliefs. His brother Larry would go onto become a minister himself while another brother became an ordained Baptist preacher.
His uncle was also a well known civil rights activist so it wasn’t too difficult for him to develop interest in that field early on. When he was six years old, he attended his first meeting of what is now called The Organization For Black American Heritage (OBAH).
Not much else can be said about his education aside from the fact that he completed high school before going on to college where he studied sociology and psychology. After graduating with honors, he went on to earn his bachelor’s degree from Columbia University.
By this stage of his life, he no longer considered himself Christian but instead Muslim due to his strong affiliation with Islam. This shift didn’t come without controversy though. Many people felt that his decision to leave Christianity behind was not genuine and that he was only doing it because he wanted attention.
After his call to read the Quran, Malcom realized that Islam was not just a religion but an entire way of life. He felt that Muslims needed to organize into groups with shared goals and missions.
He founded this organization in 1964 when he created the World Islamic Mission (WIM) as well as its subsidiary organizations such As-Sunnaawwalaa Masjid (SAMS) and Jama’at al-Fuqra (JAF). These three institutions work together to spread the message of unity within Islam while also promoting literacy among marginalized communities.
Malcolm helped create these mission statements which emphasize love for all humans and peaceful intentions towards people who are different from you. By bringing those outside of the faith into the fold, he hoped to promote understanding and acceptance of other religions.
His goal was bigger than individual conversions though. His hope was that eventually non-Muslims would accept the truthfulness of Muhammad’s prophethood and his divine guidance. This would help bring about peace and respect for Islam around the world!
These organizational efforts have succeeded in their aim and now there are over 1 million members of WIF, SAMS, and JAF worldwide.
After his speech in Detroit, Muhammad received a phone call telling him that he had been invited to speak at an upcoming event organized by the Muslim Student Association (MSA) at UCLA. The MSA is affiliated with the Muslim organization called the Islamic Society of America (ISA).
The ISA was founded in 1984 by several individuals including Sabeel Ahmed, who later went on to found the Palestinian missionary group known as Samaritan’s Purse. In 1992, Ahmad Zaki Hamdani left the ISA to form the Egyptian nationalist party Al-Gamaa al-Islamiya which would go onto to become one of Egypt’s largest political forces.
In 1996, Dr. Zakir Naqshbandi — a Pakistani professor of medicine who also preaches Islamism – cofounded the International Freedom Center (IFC), a non-profit organization designed to promote Islamist causes such as support for the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and sympathy for Osama bin Laden.
Malcolm accepted the invitation and began giving lectures about how Muslims should approach relations with other religions. His speeches became increasingly controversial due to their explicit nature.
He discussed what it means to be a real Muslim, why certain practices are forbidden, and how some interpretations of religion contribute to violence while others do not. He warned that too many people have forgotten the true meaning of Islam and said that this has led to extremism.
After leaving the NAACP, Muhammad founded his own organization in Detroit. He gathered around him many followers who shared his vision for black empowerment through religion. This new group was called The Nation of Islam (NOI).
The NOI preached that Allah had chosen Prophet Elijah as its messenger to bring an end to the time of wickedness among African Americans. According to their teachings, this period of darkness would soon come to a close with the arrival of the prophet Mahdi or “the guided one”.
Malcolm read some of Elija's books and learned about his life. He was very inspired by what he read so he made it his mission to spread the word of Islam to white people!
He believed that whites were actually jealous of blacks because they felt like they didn't have enough power themselves. That is why they would sometimes make fun of Muslims and talk badly about Arabs.
By telling racist jokes and criticizing the way Arab men dress, they're showing how much they feel threatened by the fact that there are lots of powerful Arabs in the world. By spreading hatred towards Muslims, these racists prove that they don't want Muslim influence to be part of their culture or society.
That makes them seem weak and less important than everyone else, which can be quite scary for someone who feels like they aren't strong enough already.
After his baptism, he spent most of his time preaching about black self-determination and racial unity. He focused heavily on educating others about this topic through speaking engagements and writing.
In April 1964, after several years advocating for civil rights, Dr. Martin Luther King called for an organized protest in response to police brutality against African Americans in cities across America. At that event, which became known as the “March On Washington” or simply the March, over 200,000 people participated.
Malcolm needed a way to spread his message beyond these large events, so he began organizing what would become The Nation Of Islam (NOI).
He gathered with other NOI members at Boston's Mosque Noor Islamic Society where they discussed their differences and similarities. They decided to combine their messages into one by uniting under the name Muslim Religion.
They then moved onto creating their own religion, which they called 'Islam.' This new religion was designed to have three fundamental beliefs: One is Allah, the God of all Gods; the second is Muhammad, His messenger; and the third is Prophethood, or being His final prophet like Jesus was.
After receiving his call to preach Islam, Malcolm worked hard to educate himself more about the religion while also meeting with Muslims around the world.
By 1970, he had made enough progress towards becoming a leader within the faith that he received the title of "Messenger" from the organization.
After leaving New York for Mecca in 1965, his mission was to spread Islam through peaceful means. He focused on this by founding an organization called The Inner-City Islamic Institute (ICII).
Malcolm traveled across America speaking about the religion he had chosen and encouraging people to learn more about it.
He also organized local study groups and lectures for ICIIS which allowed for even wider outreach.
His speeches were always very motivational and would emphasize that Muslims have enough scripture to prove their faith’s validity.
By doing so, he hoped to inspire Muslim youths to pick up the book and read from it.
After returning home from pilgrimage in 1975, he began organizing what would become one of the most well known chapters of the Nation Of Islam – the hajj malik shawarai campaign.
This initiative aimed to bring awareness to police brutality against black men in America.
Many Muslim scholars consider this effort to be praiseworthy because it calls attention to an issue with the same importance as jihad is within the scope of the Religion of Peace.
After his death, people started talking about his legacy in earnest. One area that garnered significant attention was his strong stance against racial discrimination. He fought vehemently for this position both before and after he joined the Nation of Islam (NOI).
Malcolm learned to speak as an ambassador for peace from his mentor Elijah Muhammad. This lesson carried over into his time with NOI where he served as national spokesperson.
However, things changed once he broke away to form his own organization. Once he did so, he took on a new title – The Honorable Minister King.
This name change signaled his departure from non-violence and open dialogue towards those who practiced racism. Instead, he emphasized self-defense and protection of your community. These are all very important lessons, but they can be hard to implement when you’re trying to convince others that there is no reason to fear each other.
That’s why he eventually rebranded himself again. Now he focused only on one thing – justice!
He made it clear that injustice anywhere means trouble for everyone else. This includes injustices committed by white people, black people, Asian people, or any other race. It's not specific to any group, which makes his message more appealing to people beyond their skin color.
After his speech in Philadelphia, Dr. X continued to speak at many more rallies across America. He focused mostly on issues concerning race relations and black nationalism.
He criticized leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. for not being radical or revolutionary enough. Malcolm wanted blacks to get rid of all forms of racism by establishing self-governed communities called republics.
These republican governments would be made up of just one group: African Americans! Participants in this group would live separate from whites and other minorities, but they would have a common goal — to uplift their racial tribe through education, spirituality, and economic development.
Malcolm also encouraged people to give up material possessions so that others could enjoy them first before moving onto bigger and better things. This is what he referred to as “sunset capitalism.
In October 1962, as tensions with Russia over Cuba continued to rise, five students from Rutgers University founded what would become one of America’s largest Islamic organizations. The Muslims Student Association (MSA) was established at an event organized by then-graduate student Mustafa Abdurrahman in Newark, New Jersey.
At that event, Abdurrahman read two statements, which have since been incorporated into MSA’s creed. The first stated that “as human beings we are entitled to live up to our God given potential, regardless of race or color” and the second emphasized Islam’s teachings about social justice for all people.
Since its founding, MSA has grown to include more than 1,500 collegiate chapters across North America and Europe. It also boasts several international branches including one in Morocco.
Malcolm X became famous after he joined MSA in 1964. He later served as president of the organization while attending Columbia University. During his tenure, he made many appearances addressing crowds both within and outside of mosques around the country.
He is now considered an important figure not just in American history but in the field of black studies. His bestseller My Life As A Crusader contains some of his most well known speeches.