On this day, 92 years ago, the world was blessed with a man named Malcolm.
From an early age, he was attacked by the KKK - they terrorised him, his siblings, his mother and father - even being traumatised by a arsonists trying to burn their family alive while they slept. Not too long afterwards, his father, a Christian mister, was found dead on the train tracks.
Growing up he dreamed of being a lawyer but was told "negros can't be lawyers". In his youth he did whatever he could to defy a destiny bound to him by the colour of his skin - dating white women, getting constant perms and wearing zoot suits. But still, the white Americans around him treated him with such disrespect that he quit his job and took up a life of crime, eventually targeting wealthy white homeowners, before being caught and sentenced to prison.
Initially he cursed God for the state of his life and turned his back on the world, but was reintroduced to God by a couple inmates and his visiting brother. He took to the doctrine of the Nation of Islam very quickly because of its retaliatory views on white people, but as a result, his moral compass was redefined stronger than ever.
He was devout in his understanding of religion and sought to bring down the injustices brought upon 22 million Black Americans by any means necessary, believing that violent reaction was inevitably the only way to gain independence from their oppressors.
In November of 1963 he learned of the corruption present in the Nation of Islam and struggled with the reality that Elijah Mohammad, the man whom he deemed to be divine, was impregnating underage girls and then abandoning them and making them the subjects of public humiliation. Malcolm came to terms with this and left the Nation of Islam, seeking to find a more honourable means to tackling the injustices brought on to blacks.
In 1964 he delivered his speech titled "The Ballot or the Bullet" in which he spoke of a peaceful revolution for black Americans, likening their struggle to those of the founding fathers - but rooted in deliberate hatred and inhumanity. Malcolm took a journey to the Middle East where he met Muslims of all races and his mind was opened to the prospects of unity among all races. He publicly spoke out against the Nation of Islam and Elijah Mohammad, which angered them. He then travelled into Africa, meeting with numerous Presidents of newly independent African countries. While there, he learned that in order for their struggles to be overcome, black people from all over the world, of all religious and political denominations needed to unite - the non-violent movements as well as those willing gain independence through violence needed to work together. He was also fuelled with the notion of an international coalition of black people, challenging the American government (as well as France and Britain) in the world court.
On his return to the United States, several attempts were made on his life by the Nation of Islam. February of 1965 was an explosive month for Malcolm....
At the start of the month, he threatened the government of Alabama that black Americans not "shackled by non-violent" philosophies would defend the civil rights of the people of Selma if they were attacked again, following protests and the death of a young black man in Montgomery. On February 13th, his house was set ablaze by members of the Nation of Islam, his baby girls narrowly escaping death. The next day, Malcolm delivered his final speech in Detroit, where he announced formally that he intended on taking the American Government to the UN courts for their violation of Human Rights obligations.
That same week, he reached out to Coretta Scott King while Martin Luther King Jr was being kept in a prison cell in Selma Alabama, telling her and the local activists that they had his full support, apologising for how he shamed MLK in earlier years.
In his final week of life, momentum grew around his charges against the American government, drawing attention to specific members of the government for their inability to take action - or even taking segregationist action. Finally, he made clear public accusations of everything Elijah Mohammad had done, including collusion with the KKK.
On February 21st, 1965, he was assassinated by members of the Nation of Islam as he began his speech at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem, New York. He died smiling in front of his wife and children. It is alleged (with a gross amount of evidence) that this assassination was somehow officially endorsed by the administration of the NOI, as well as the KKK. Based on declassified documents to have come out in recent years, the American government was aware of the assassination planned on his head and deliberately refused to prevent it.
RIP Malcolm X