Malcolm X was assassinated on 21 February 1965. Malcolm X was an African-American leader and activist who played a prominent role in the Nation of Islam, bringing together Islam and black nationalism in America. Malcolm decided to join the Nation of Islam while he was in prison. He spent a long time reading in prison, and by the time he was released he was ready to take over the leadership of the movement. He was to remain the public face of the controversial group for many years – during which the group was accused of being violent. However, he continued to advocate for segregation, black supremacy and spoke up about the crimes white people had committed against African-Americans.

He had a very charismatic personality and he played an important role in speaking up about the atrocities committed against the black population, during the civil rights movement in America. He spoke at major universities like Harvard and Oxford, and preached on the streets of Harlem. What was perhaps unique about Malcolm X was that he did not agree with the ideals held by most civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King Jr., who he felt were not focusing on more important issues like black identity, integrity and independence.

He soon broke away from the Nation of Islam when tensions grew between Malcolm and the other leaders, who did not agree with the political direction that the Nation was taking. It was due to the increased tensions between Malcolm X and the leaders of the movement that he was assassinated in 1965 while delivering a lecture in Harlem.

Malcolm X continues to be remembered as an African-American hero who made considerable contributions to black history in the United States. After he was killed, widespread distribution of his life story The Autobiography of Malcolm X helped people learn more about his life and ideas, and therefore, he continues to be celebrated as an ideological hero amongst not only the black youth but the world at large.

“Despite my firm convictions, I have always been a man who tries to face facts, and to accept the reality of life as new experience and new knowledge unfolds. I have always kept an open mind, a flexibility that must go hand in hand with every form of the intelligent search for truth.”

–Malcolm