In Myers' work, why are Malcolm X and the Honorable Elijah Muhammad beginning to separate?

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

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Myers makes the case that Malcolm X grew disillusioned with the Nation of Islam and the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.  Part of this arose from the perceived pettiness that Malcolm X saw within the Nation of Islam.  Myers depicts Malcolm X as a tireless worker within the Nation and in carrying out his ministerial work for the Nation of Islam.  Malcolm X's meteoric rise to one in which he became the perceived leader of the organization is one reason why so many grew envious of him.  While this did not entirely bother him, it is shown to have grated upon him.  Additionally, Malcolm X became increasingly concerned with how the Honorable Elijah Muhammad might not have been so "honorable" in his position as leader.  Myers presents Malcolm X as beginning to move away from the Honorable Elijah Muhammad because of doubts and skepticism.  His questioning was not in the message and purpose of Islam, but rather in how the sacred was being twisted by the mundane.

Myers shows that the separation that emerged between both men happened as a result of dogmatic construction and power.  Malcolm X was on a pursuit of a spiritual sense of identity, a plane of existence that was shown to be fundamentally different than the designs of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the members of the Nation of Islam.  Rather than simply accept the hypocritical nature of what was present, Malcolm X is shown as willing to separate himself from the man who was his spiritual leader and guru.

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