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Short term impact of Malcolm X

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Introduction

What short term impact did Malcolm X have on the Black Civil Right Movement 1965-1968? Malcolm X a 'symbol of hope' or 'father divine'. Historians have argued over the impact he had on the progression of Civil Rights, the methods he used and the overall persona of the man; Verney states "Malcolm X's achievements were of a more abstract and philosophical nature"1 however, Walter Myers would argue that he was much more forward in his thinking "Malcolm spoke for the voiceless, for the people from whom not even some black leaders wanted to hear"2. Clearly he had a much tougher upbringing than the likes of Martin Luther King, maybe this was why he stood for a much more radical approach. However, the likes of Stokely Carmichael would argue that his impact was just as great as other Black Civil Rights leaders, describing Malcolm as a "hero...-our heroes"3, just emphasising how highly thought of he was. "Malcolm could fairly be judged a failure by the conventional measures of leadership"4 and essentially Carmichael would agree to an extent "I wish that nigger would shut up talking about all this hate, killing and violence"5 on the other hand supporters argued that "Malcolm is a genius"6 and "he is the most brilliant speaker I have ever heard"7. ...read more.

Middle

Malcolm was perceived in his lifetime as a demonic presence at the edges of out field of sight-an angel of our darkness contending with the angels of light for possession of the black soul"27. Goldman goes on to say that "it was King who occupied centre stage". It was because of Malcolm's radical ways and less conventional methods which caused tension amongst the white population, where as King would take a more reserved approach. This is highlighted by Manning Marable as Malcolm states "every white man in America, when he looks into a black mans eyes, should fall to his knees and say 'I'm sorry, I'm sorry-my kind has committed history's greatest crime against your kind; will you give me the chance to atone?'"28 On the other hand King adopted 'turn-the-other-cheek' policy. The Organisation of Afro-American Unity Malcolm created had limited impact on the movement. They attempted "like Dubois before him... to submit a list of human rights violations and acts of genocide against U.S. blacks to the United Nations"29. In addition he later brought about the idea of 'rifle clubs' to defend blacks against brutality and as Fairclough argues "Malcolm insisted that violence had to be central to black liberation"30 furthermore, 'he did not believe in passive resistance' and "every Negro ought to have a weapon in his house... ...read more.

Conclusion

Nadle attempts to explain the complexity of Malcolm X and how there were two different sides that could be identified "Malcolm X has three faces. One is turned towards Africa, one toward Harlem, and one toward Washington... He's a charismatic leader. Then a cartoon figure waving a rifle" this emphasises the complexity of the individual. Due to the mixed opinions it would be fair to say that the impact he had was limited and his death was the thing that propelled a legacy. 1 Kevin Verney 2 Walter Dean Myers 3 Speech Stokely Carmichael 4 Peter Goldman 5 Speech SC 6 Marlene Nadle 7 Marlene Nadle 8 http://www.malcolmx.com/about/bio.html 9 http://www.malcolmx.com/about/bio.html 10 Walter Dean Myers 11 Peter Goldman 12 Better day coming Adam Fairclough 13 David Halberstam 14 David Halberstam 15 David Halberstam 16 Peter Goldman 17 Manning Marable 18 Manning Marable 19 Manning Marable 20 Marc Crawford 21 Manning Marable 22 Peter Goldman 23 Clayborne Carson 24 Adam Fairclough 25 Autobiography of X 26 Peter Goldman 27 Peter Goldman 28 Manning Marable 29 Manning Marable 30 Adam Fairclough 31 Marc Crawford 32 Adam Fairclough 33 Marlene Nadle 34 Marlene Nadle 35 Peter Goldman 36 Marlene Nadle 37 X's speech uni california 38 Sanders 154-55 39 Adam Fairclough 40 Manning Marable 41 Manning Marable 42 Stokely Carmichael speech 43 Sanders 156-58 44 Sanders 156-58 ...read more.

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