What is Malcolm X's ultimate message for African Americans?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I understand from where the previous post comes.  I can see how Malcolm X's message can be seen as divisive and chaotic.  Having said that, I believe that there is more to his overall message.  In a time period of massive  change and one where new methods of perception were being introduced into the national discourse on race, Malcolm's contribution was powerful.  He spoke to individuals who had been persistently disenfranchised and silenced from the American vision of "the dream" on racial/ ethnic levels, economic spheres, and social domains.  His message of pride in one's own identity and sense of self helped to form the basis of modern cultural identity.  While his message of self defense was something that became set opposed to King, I think Malcolm, himself, understood that his role of antagonist was a deliberate one.  He hoped to provoke the power structure to have to embrace King's vision of racial consensus, even if it meant his own derision was the result.  He was very fond of saying that American society should embrace King's vision, if nothing else, out of fear of his own.  This shows a tremendous understanding how to achieve change in a setting ripe with inertia and social resistance.  As groups and young people today endure challenges with their own identity on gender, race, class, sexual orientation, or psychological dimensions, Malcolm X's ideas provide a sense of understanding and empathy to predicaments where these components might be lacking.

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amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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I read this book years ago, but the ultimate message I received from Malcolm X was in stark contrast with Martin Luther King, Jr. Malcolm, to me, basically supported rebellion against all who are deemed responsible for holding down the African American people.  He seemed to support not just rebellion, but blatant violence and bloody revenge.  Martin Luther King, Jr., on the other hand, made a more powerful impact on me because he also stood for standing up and speaking out against the prejudices against American blacks, but he did not advocate breaking the law or endangering anyone's life in order to make the point clear.

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cmuhammad | Middle School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

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What is Malcolm X's ultimate message for African Americans?

IF YOU HAVE READ THE BOOK "THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MALCOLM X" THEN YOU SHOULD BE AWARE OF THE MULTIPLE TRANSFORMATIONS THAT MALCOLM WENT THROUGH DURING HIS LIFE.  WHAT IN YOUR OPINION IS THE ESSENCE OF MALCOLM'S ULTIMATE MESSAGE TO AFRICAN AMERICANS AND TO SOCEITY AT LARGE AND HOW IS IT RELEVANT TODAY?  WHAT WAS HIS MAJOR CONTRIBUTION TO THE MOVEMENT TOWARD THE PROGRESS OF AFRICAN PEOPLE AND WHITES AS WELL?  HOW DID HIS TRANSFORMATION FROM PIMP, STREET HUSTLER, ETC... CONTRIBUTE TO HIS WEALTH OF KNOWLEDGE ABOUT THE POLITICS OF RACE IN AMERICAN SOCIETY AND WHAT SUDDENTLY CHANGED HIS VIEWS SOMEWHAT TOWARD THE EUROPEAN RACE?

Malcolm's message to Black People was the same message that any leader has for his /her people. Unite and do something for yourself. His message improved race relations between Blacks and Whites tremendously. Whites had an opportunity to take an honest look at the injustices that they are responsible for imposing on Black People. At the time, Black People were given the courage to stand up, voice the concerns and work toward their own solution about it 

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cmuhammad | Middle School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

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I read this book years ago, but the ultimate message I received from Malcolm X was in stark contrast with Martin Luther King, Jr. Malcolm, to me, basically supported rebellion against all who are deemed responsible for holding down the African American people.  He seemed to support not just rebellion, but blatant violence and bloody revenge.  Martin Luther King, Jr., on the other hand, made a more powerful impact on me because he also stood for standing up and speaking out against the prejudices against American blacks, but he did not advocate breaking the law or endangering anyone's life in order to make the point clear.

Maybe you should read the book again because Malcolm was a law breaker before he met with The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, not after.

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