There have been many powerful leaders during times of social change. One of those great leaders was Malcolm X.
However, in learning about Malcolm X in school history classes, it seems that there are some missing pieces of the story.
Malcolm X has been portrayed in many different forms. Some representations of him are negligent towards his values, such as his committed fight for freedom “by any means necessary.” On the other hand, some representations speak positively of his value of education and his outlook on how to remain enduring and nonviolent.
During Malcolm X’s time, society was in an uproar of hatred towards African American people, and racism continues to be a problem today. The question is, how do students feel about Malcolm X and what he stood for? What is the moral of his story?
Many stories have been told, some with different endings. Which side is telling the truth?
“[He] is for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it’s for or against,” said Malcolm X.
He wanted to bring forth a sense of peace around the world.
“The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses,” he said.
During his lifetime, Malcolm X underwent a spiritual and intellectual transformation to advocate against problems in society, such as racism that caused hurt and pain towards minorities.
“Despite my firm convictions, I have always been a man who tries to face facts, and to accept the reality of life as new experience and new knowledge unfolds. I have always kept an open mind, a flexibility that must go hand in hand with every form of the intelligent search for truth,” he said.
Malcolm X changed his name to represent his African ancestors and their culture that had been lost during slavery. Becoming an African American leader allowed him to show his compassion for the people.
He believed in the process of self-education to strive for positive change.
“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today,” said Malcolm X.
Education not only happens in the classroom, you also learn through experience.
In the words of Malcolm X, “There is nothing better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time. The future belongs to those who prepare for it today.”
Malcolm X should be honored for his contributions to making a drastic change in society, and as a man who stood for what he believed in. Now the future is here and we are very close to reaching the dream that he imagined, if we work together.