Early 1960s-1965

Malcolm X Makes His Mark

February 01, 2010

During the early 1960s, Malcolm X gained recognition as the spokesman for the Nation of Islam, a group of Black Muslims who supported the idea of creating a separate black nation. Malcolm X spoke out forcefully against the unfair treatment of black Americans and encouraged them to use "any means necessary," including the use of violence, to achieve equality.

In 1964, Malcolm X traveled to the Islamic holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Inspired by his pilgrimage, or journey to a sacred place, Malcolm X left the Nation of Islam and changed his views, choosing a more peaceful route to accomplish his goals. On February 21, 1965, Malcolm X was shot and killed in New York City by Black Muslims who didn't agree with his new ideas. Today, he remains a hero to many people of all colors and races.


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