This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress
The real story of Malcolm X is of a man who came from a modest but not a bad upbringing who didn’t finish high school who got into trouble as a young man and became a thug and did time in prison. It’s in prison where he becomes educated and who actually became a prison inmate who was rehabilitated and became educated in prison. He was a man who became a better man in prison and able use what he learned to become a productive member of society and was able to build a good life for him outside of prison as short as his life was when he was murdered in 1965.
Malcolm X first became part of the Black Power movement in the 1960s. Not the Black Panthers, but African-Americans who wanted in Malcolm X’s movement who wanted to empower African-Americans to be able to take control of their lives and live in freedom. If Malcolm X was a racist when he first became part of this movement in the late 1950s and early 1960s using hatful language and slurs towards Caucasian-Americans, he wasn’t a racist when he died. He learned that not all Caucasians as he said were racists or White Devils. That there were good Caucasians as their were bad Caucasians like any race of people.
Malcolm X as an African-American leader was not a thug. But a leader who was about empowerment of a race of people in America who even though were officially free under law and no longer slaves, were overwhelmingly dependent on public assistance. Who trapped in poverty and in bad schools and not having the opportunity for a real future and being able to live in freedom. Malcolm X wanted to empower all of these Americans to be able to take control over their own lives and live in freedom. He wasn’t interested in integration for integration’s sake, but freedom for a community of Americans. Whether that meant desegregation or separation from the rest of the country.