On May 19th, 1925, human and civil rights activist Malcolm X was born in Omaha, Nebraska.
Born Malcolm Little, his journey towards global recognition and prominence within the US civil rights movement began in 1946 when he was arrested for burglary and breaking and entering. Whilst incarcerated, he became a member of the Nation of Islam, a group of Islamic, African-American activists who sought to improve the economic and social conditions of black Americans. He remained a central member and leading figure of the Nation of Islam until 1964 when he fractured from the group and adopted Sunni Islam.
There can be no black-white unity until there is first some black unity. There can be no workers’ solidarity until there is first some racial solidarity. We cannot think of uniting with others, until after we have first united among ourselves. We cannot think of being acceptable to others until we have first proven acceptable to ourselves. One can’t unite bananas with scattered leaves.
Whilst a member of the Nation, Malcolm X promoted black supremacy and attracted a vast amount of attention towards the movement and its activities; it is estimated that his involvement caused membership to increase from 1,200 to well over 50,000.
Famously, Malcolm X died on February 19th, 1965. He was assassinated by 3 members of the Nation of Islam, the group which Malcolm had become disillusioned with 1 year earlier.