The Nation of Islam and Malcolm X

Nation of Islam Flag
Nation of Islam Flag

Date & Location:
The Nation was founded in Detroit, Michigan in July of 1930 by Wallace D. Fard Muhammad. It still exists today and Chicago, Illinois is now the home to its headquarters and national center.
Malcolm X was born on May 19, 1925 in Omaha, Nebraska. He was assassinated on February 21, 1965 when he was speaking at Manhattan's Audubon Ballroom.

The Nation of Islam:
The Nation of Islam is a religious organization with the original goal of resurrecting the the spiritual, mental, social, and economic condition of African American men and women, and they tried to do this by restoring black pride in their message. The Nation of Islam shares most of the fundamental beliefs of Islam. However many of their beliefs differ from those of traditional Islam, such as the Nation's pronounced anti-white bias. They refer to Blacks as God's Chosen People and Caucasians as white devils and they call for complete segregation of the black and white races.

Malcolm X and his assassination:
Malcolm X was a minister and national spokesman for the Nation of Islam. He was known to be intelligent and articulate. His black supremacist and segregationist views drew controversy and his charismatic speeches drew large crowds. With large crowds and controversy came media attention. Malcolm X called for complete separation of the black and white races and rejected integration and nonviolence as effective methods of confronting racism. He embraced the views of the Nation of Islam, also referring to white people as white devils. However around 1964, after his pilgrimage Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Malcolm began to see the world in a different way, causing him to repudiate the Nation of Islam and embrace conventional Islam.
Malcolm X
Malcolm X

During his time with the Nation of Islam Malcolm X had been the spokesman for "the honorable Elijah Muhammad", the organization's leader, but during the 1960's his fame had surmounted that of Elijah Muhammad's. In 1963 Malcolm X discovered that Elijah Muhammad had been having secret relations with six different members of the Nation of Islam, some of whom resulted in having children. This went completely against the Nation's beliefs, and Malcolm refused the Nation's orders to keep quiet about the issue. In 1964, after Kennedy's assassination, Malcolm was criticized and silenced by the Nation of Islam for saying, "[Kennedy] never foresaw that the chickens would come home to roost so soon," because this went against the Nation's favor of President Kennedy. Later that year Malcolm made a pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, where all Muslims must go during their lifetime according to their religious beliefs. Upon returning Malcolm took back his racist views and segregationist views, and believed that Muslims of all races should come together and support each other. He had been among people of all races, including whites who used to hate, and they had all treated him as a brother, giving Malcolm a new outlook on integration.
Since his renouncement of Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm went almost nowhere without bodyguards. He had had informants from the Nation of Islam, who warned him that he was marked for assassination. He and his family received death threats through the telephone and on February 14, 1965 his home in East Elmhurst, New York was firebombed. His family, including Malcolm, his wife, and four daughters, escaped without injury. On February 21, 1965, he was speaking at Manhattan's Audubon Ballroom by three gunmen who were members of the Nation of Islam.