Malcolm X, born Malcolm Little was a civil rights activist and a Muslim minister. In 1946, Malcolm and a friend of his were arrested under burglary charges, causing Malcolm to be sentenced to ten years in prison.
During his time in prison, Malcolm would find himself being intrigued by the Islam religion. He was inspired by Islam leader, Elijah Muhammad.
Muhammad taught that white society worked to keep African Americans from achieving academic, economic, and social success. At the time of his release on parole, Malcolm Little changed his surname to X, believing that “little” was a slave name. His ministry began in which he was acknowledged for increasing the members of the Nation of Islam from 500 to 30,000.
55 years ago, citizens of Detroit, Michigan gathered around to see what would be Malcolm X’s last public speech outside of NYC. On February 13th, 1965 Malcolm X’s home was bombed in New York. He, nor his family were harmed from the bombing. X decided to keep his word and hold a speech that was previously arranged in Detroit Michigan.
“I say again that I’m not a racist, I don’t believe in any form of segregation or anything like that. I’m for the brotherhood of everybody, but I don’t believe in forcing brotherhood upon people who don’t want it. Long as we practice brotherhood among ourselves, and then others who want to practice brotherhood with us, we practice it with them also, we’re for that. But I don’t think that we should run around trying to love somebody who doesn’t love us. Thank you,” said X in his speech.
A week after this speech led to the unfortunate assassination of Malcolm X. At a speaking engagement on February 21, 1965, three gunmen shot the notable leader 15 times, leaving the 39-year-old activist to be pronounced dead at New York’s Columbia Presbyterian Hospital.