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What did Malcolm X contribute to society?What were Malcolm's accomplishments to make...

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elaine12 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 15, 2008 at 3:45 PM via web

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What did Malcolm X contribute to society?

What were Malcolm's accomplishments to make society better?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 25, 2008 at 9:05 AM (Answer #2)

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Certainly Malcolm X was a vivid, if sinister part of the 1960s.  His famous "....by any means necessary" speech which advocated killing anyone who stood in the way of the advancement of his people is one that is not to be forgotten by many people from this era.  Malcolm X also advocated the formation of separate states for African-Americans. His was a message entirely different from other leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Having had his dream of becoming a lawyer crushed as a youth, Malcolm Little turned to crime.  While in prison he learned of the Muslims on a visit from his brother Reginald.  So, Malcolm studied the writings of Elijah Muhammed who taught that white society actively worked to keep African-American society from advancing socially and politically.  Later, Malcolm X (meant to represent the lost tribal name) became disillusioned with Elijah Muhammed and broke from him. 

On a trip to Mecca, Saudia Arabia, it is said in his autobiography that Malcom had a conversion in which he claimed that he had met blonde, blue-eyed men whom he could call "friend."  He returned to the United States with, he said, a message for all; efforts were made to unify all people in the United States.  Unfortunately, his message was not to be accepted by some.  Suspicion of Elijah Muhammed ran high when Malcolm X was shot down by members of the Nation of Islam in the Manhatten's Audubon Ballroom in 1965.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 2, 2009 at 7:10 AM (Answer #3)

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I think that Malcolm X's contribution to improvement to society rests in two domains.  The first would be how his story can serve as a testament to the importance of reclaiming voice.  Towards the end of his life, I think it became apparent that Malcolm X understood his Autobiography as something that was going to remain after his exit.  He also understood that in his narrative, his bildungsroman, others after him would be able to relate to his experiences, his encounters, his perceptions.  In telling his story, he reclaims a voice that had been lost.  We can argue as to the many forces that contributed to it being silenced.  Yet, we must agree that his reclamation of it as a man, a Black man, an American man, and a man of the international community is powerful and motivating for any human being.  This process of reclaiming and asserting his voice speaks so clearly today when youths all over the world experience a sense of alienation and isolation.  Think of this: Malcolm X’s narrative can connect with an urban American teen as well as a displaced youth in Gaza,  as well as an adolescent in Kashmir.  This is an undeniable compelling contribution.
The second domain where Malcolm X’s contribution is felt is that he is one of the first voices to speak of America’s “crisis of representation.”  Malcolm X is one of the first to toll the bell in demanding that America’s narrative be represented with as many voices as possible.  In his work as a member of the Nation of Islam, he understood this from the position of a Black Man in America.  However, toward the end of his life he understood that any and all forms of authority have a moral, political, spiritual, and fundamental obligation to speak for as many voices as possible.  Towards the end of his life, El Hajj Malik El Shabazz spoke for an international and cosmopolitan approach to addressing the crisis of representation.  He was one of the first to suggest that what underrepresented minorities in America endure is no different than what silenced voices in Africa, in Asia, and all over the world have to face. He was ahead of his time in advocating for a more worldly view of issues in representation.  This contribution is something we still strive for today, and it is something that he brought out into the open, with the disinfecting power of sunlight, over four decades ago.

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epollock | Valedictorian

Posted July 3, 2009 at 1:24 AM (Answer #4)

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He contributed greatly to the country not only as a civil rights leader but as a person who spoke his mind, whether in speeches or in his autobiography. His autobiography has left a lasting impression on many people.

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meercat | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 20, 2009 at 10:17 AM (Answer #5)

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Malcolm X was an intelligent man who managed to unite the people of the U.S.A and bring them forward and into white society by performing talks, speeches and interviews on the radio. He improved qualities for blacks by a worthy amount and even though he wasn’t purely innocent and he used violence sometimes he is still an admirable person. ( i am unclear about what he did though and i can't find many acts or campaigns, rallies or treaties that he contributed to if i knew that then THAT would be my answer)

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meercat | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 20, 2009 at 10:20 AM (Answer #6)

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Malcolm X was an intelligent man who managed to unite the people of the U.S.A and bring them forward and into white society by performing talks, speeches and interviews on the radio. He improved qualities for blacks by a worthy amount and even though he wasn’t purely innocent and he used violence sometimes he is still an admirable person. ( i am unclear about what he did though and i can't find many acts or campaigns, rallies or treaties that he contributed to if i knew that then THAT would be my answer oh btw this comes from my history project and is from Thiadmar Jansen ,just so that my teacher wont say i have plaguerised someone else)

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