Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Final Installment #2 - The Evolution of Malcolm X
My first report was a This I Believe entitled, “I believe in the power of influence.” As I reflected on my writing, I changed my mind and decided to base my next two reports on Malcolm X. This report is about the evolution of Malcolm X’s philosophy through time frames and influential periods of America.
This “by any means” philosopher otherwise known as Malcolm X, is often portrayed as violent and radical. Truth be told, his philosophy changed through his journey through time periods.
Malcolm X’s early philosophy, I will entitle “The Philosophy of Malcolm Little.” This time period takes place from this birth in 1925 to the early 1960’s during his stint with the Nation of Islam. Malcolm Little’s philosophy was essentially a philosophy of grinding and hustling. It was almost criminal at times. It included a deep sense of distrust. This ideology could be related to the philosophy of Huey Newton and the Black Panthers. When Malcolm left prison, he began to hate two common foes of many people during that time period, the police and informants. He also began to develop a mentality that the only person he could trust in the world was himself. This is from this birth to 1945 right before his arrest in Boston.
After leaving prison and becoming knowledgeable about the Nation of Islam, Malcolm shifts his contempt of police and informant’s to Christianity and the white majority. I call this the “Philosophy of X” Alongside fellow Nation of Islam leader Elijah Mohammed, he preaches the message that the white man is the devil and that blacks are brainwashed. Among this time period, events such as “Rosa Park’s Stand” and the murder of Emmett Till, for example, are events that are taking place. As he sees these events taking place ideas such as Black Separatism, self-reliance, and small-scale black capitalism begin to grow on him. Malcolm’s philosophy has shifted from a sense of selfishness to a sense of unity, self-reliance, freedom, justice, and equality by any means. In my next report I will discuss the final and last evolution of Malcolm's philosophy, his transitional period.