Educator Resources for Malcolm X

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You've heard of Martin Luther King, Jr., but who was Malcolm X? He was another influential leader during the Civil Rights era, with different views on how to fight discrimination against African Americans. While King championed nonviolent protest and equality for all, Malcolm took a more forceful approach. Growing up in the Midwest during segregation, he witnessed the violence of hate groups firsthand. His experiences filled him with anger—he dropped out of school, got caught up in a life of crime, and wound up in jail. While in prison, he joined the Nation of Islam, a radical group that viewed all white people as racist and pushed for the creation of a separate country for black people. Malcolm became a fiery spokesperson for the group, championing the beliefs of black nationalism before a national audience. But his growing fame led to a split with the NOI's leader, Elijah Muhammad. A trip to Mecca opened Malcolm's eyes to the possibilities of cooperation, as he saw Muslims of all races worshiping together. But, before he could put his new perspective into action, he was assassinated. Press "play" to learn more about Malcolm X's legacy.