The Pan-African movement played an invaluable role towards the emancipation of the African Americans. Various African American leaders played significant roles towards the achievement of this goal.
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Malcolm X was a prominent figure in the Pan-African world. Based on this notion, this paper is structured by highlighting how the early life of Malcolm X shaped his contribution towards becoming a leading personality in the Pan-African world. Thereafter, the paper reviews the main contributions Malcolm made towards the realization of the African American dreams.
Malcolm X is among the few African Americans who left a lasting mark in the United States history. Coming from a difficult background, Malcolm X had to endure a number of unfavorable events both in his childhood and in adulthood.
To begin with, at the onset of his childhood, Malcolm X had to put up with the persecution directed against his family owing to the fact that the father was a Christian reverend. It appears that the major undoing of Malcolm X’S father was supporting the cause of the African American race. After the death of Malcolm X’S father, the mother was diagnosed with a mental illness and sent to a medical facility. This implies that Malcolm X and his siblings had to be taken to different places for upbringing.
In my view, this could prove a difficult moment for Malcolm X and the siblings since any child needs the love of parents when growing up. Later Malcolm X engages in Larceny, which earns him 10 years in prison. In prison, Malcolm X gets the opportunity to learn Islam. After successfully learning the Islamic religion, Malcolm X becomes an influential cleric who traverses various places in a bid to spread the Islamic word although he mainly focuses on the unjust American society.
During the 1960’s the American society was highly divisive. As Malcolm X remarks, America was facing a serious concern. The problem was reflected both in the country and in its people. As Malcolm X proceeds, it becomes apparent that the focus is on racial discrimination in the United States at the time.
The African Americans and other minority groups in the United States were facing all sorts of discrimination during this time. This scenario was more pronounced in the Southern States as the minority groups in America were forced to work as slaves in plantations. Therefore, in the views of Malcolm X, the American society was divided along racial lines as the white man controlled the state and did everything to ensure that the other races did not participate in the American State as equal citizens.
Differences based on race, religion, color, political party orientation, etc were major issues affecting the American society. Malcolm X chose to demystify these differences by clearly pointing out that as they gathered, they did not do so based on their respective affiliations but did so as equal human beings. This is reflected in the speech Malcolm X delivered in a bid to unify the African Americans.
Having realized the gravity of the task that lay ahead, Malcolm X used the speech to implore those in attendance to unite in order to defeat the common enemy. According to Malcolm X, the common enemy was not only an oppressor but was also a common discriminator and exploiter. Using my learning experience, it is true that the African Americans and other minority races in the US such as Mexicans, Spanish Americans, etc, had to suffer racial injustices.
As an illustration, the minority races were not allowed to share same public places such as beaches, schools and churches. Worse still, they were denied other basic rights such as voting rights. Hence, Malcolm X was being a realist by asking the African Americans to unite and seek a reversal of these happenings in order to attain an equal footing in regards to citizenship.
After identifying the common enemy as the white man, Malcolm X uses the speech to rally African Americans. Malcolm X seeks to foster unity among the African Americans. This is achieved by asking the Africa Americans to put aside squabbles amongst themselves and instead focus their energies on the common oppressor.
Malcolm X also looks at the double standards applied by the white man. He points out how the white man sends people to fight others such as the Japanese, the Koreans, the Germans, the French, etc leading to bloodshed. However, the white man is at pains when such events take place within his own land.
Malcolm X supports this assertion by highlighting the idea that the White man only perceives violence to be wrong in America but not in other places. This view holds since, the white man put obstacles on the way of civil right movements and any minority uprisings that pursued justice or equality in America.
Malcolm X cites several revolutions that took place in other countries as examples to emulate. Revolutions such as the American Revolution, the Chinese Revolution, the French Revolution, the Kenyan Revolution and other independent revolutions were mentioned. In my view, Malcolm X was using these revolutions to spur the African Americans into action. Using these examples amounted to challenging the African Americans by telling them that what awaited them was a normal task that had been achieved elsewhere.
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The Pan-African Movement was important in championing the rights of the African American people. Various individuals such as Malcolm X made significant contributions towards this cause. Malcolm X endured difficult spells before embarking on the emancipation role. Based on the evidence adduced in this paper, it is clear that Malcolm X goes down the history records as a leading Pan-African.