Malcolm X

  • A group called the Black Muslims had never agreed with MLK’s ideas
  • They wanted SEPARATISM – where black people and white people are kept away from each other
  • All members changed their surnames that had been given to their ancestors by slave-owners to an X
  • One member, Malcolm X, was a brilliant public speaker
  • He helped to increase membership of the group to 100,000 by 1964
  • Criticised Martin Luther King and the non-violent protests
  • He had an enormous influence on young black, urban men
  • 75% of the Black Muslims were aged 17-35
  • Argued that violence was justified in self-defence AND as a way to get a separate black nation
  • Members of the mainstream civil rights groups felt that the Black Muslims were just as racist (anti-white) and dangerous as the white racist groups
  • Eventually his ideas became so extreme that it brought him enemies amongst the Black Muslims
  • 21st February 1965, Malcolm X was assassinated by three members of the Black Muslims