Black History: Malcolm X

“The hardest test I ever faced in my life was praying.”

Malcolm X was a prominent human rights activist in the first half of the 20th century who lived from 1925 to 1965. Malcolm learned very early on in life that, as a black person of color, he was treated differently. The year after Malcolm was born, his family was forced to relocate following threats from the Ku Klux Klan, and when Malcolm was only 4, his father died, and that incident came with swirling rumors of the Black Legion (a white racist group) having a hand in it.

Malcolm X’s relationship with religion shaped his life. He was born into a Baptist family, with his father being a Baptist lay speaker. With his father dying when Malcolm was young, and his mother being committed several years later, he grew up without the guidance of a religion. As he grew older, he committed countless felonies, such as drug dealing, robbery, and pimping, to name a few. He was eventually caught, which lead him to prison, and to a new affinity for religion.

While he was in prison, his siblings wrote to him and discussed the Nation of Islam, which at the time was a new religious movement that supported black self-reliance and liberation. He became interested in this, which is when he adopted the name Malcolm X, with the X representing his true African family name, one that he had never known. After prison, he met with the leader of the Nation of Islam, Elijah Muhammed, and from there, he took strong hold of his religion and used it to lead with his head and his heart against racial injustices in America.

Warner Library is a part of Eastern University, which is a Christian institution. Eastern understands how important being a part of a religion and loving God are in the lives of many, and it is fundamental to recognize that those of us who practice this love, no matter the religion, are all valid and important in our journeys. This was recently discussed at a panel that was held at Eastern University titled Neighborly Faith.

Our library has several books on Malcolm X, which can be found here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s