February is Black History Month. A middle school student asked, “Do you know who Malcolm X was?” Of course, I said. “Schools don’t teach about him equally with Martin Luther King,” he observed.
True. While he is not considered as consequential as Dr. King, his biography and beliefs certainly have educational value. Both King and X changed. In the last years of their lives, King became more impatient and militant and X became more forgiving. He started his public career in the Nation of Islam which put people of African descent on a pedestal, and he was a follower of Elijah Muhammad. After visiting the holy city of Mecca and realizing Islam was not a race-based religion and that there were many white people who were good Muslims, he broke with the Nation of Islam and with Elijah Mohammed. ” “I am not a racist,” he said. “I am against every form of racism and segregation, every form of discrimination. I believe in human beings, and that all human beings should be respected as such, regardless of their color.”
BBC: Malcolm X: Activism, assassination and how he predicted his own death. “Malcolm X, the ever-divisive black rights activist, was killed in 1965 at a rally in New York. The question of who killed him is now the subject of a new Netflix documentary series – but did you know that he predicted his own death years before it happened? Here, BBC History Revealed explores his activism and assassination.”