Artist: Mike Matola, Los Angeles, United States
1964’s The Ballot or The Bullet speech handwritten in ink on 12” x 15” layout bond, framed.
Malcolm X (1925 – 1965)
Civil Rights Activist
Malcolm X (originally Malcolm Little and later el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz) was an African-American Muslim minister and Civil Rights activist who has been called one of history’s most influential African Americans. To his admirers, he was a courageous advocate for the rights of blacks, a man who harshly indicted white America for its crimes against black Americans; detractors accused him of preaching racism and violence.
Malcolm X’s father was killed when he was six and his mother was placed in a mental hospital when he was thirteen. In 1946, at age twenty, he went to prison for larceny and breaking and entering. In prison, he became a member of the Nation Of Islam, and after his parole in 1952, quickly rose to become one of the organization's most influential leaders. He served as the public face of the controversial group for a dozen years. In his autobiography, Malcolm X wrote proudly of some of the social achievements the Nation made while he was a member, particularly its free drug rehabilitation program. The Nation promoted black supremacy, advocated the separation of black and white Americans, and rejected the civil rights movement for its emphasis on integration.
By March 1964, Malcolm X had grown disillusioned with the Nation of Islam. Expressing regrets about his association, he embraced Sunni Islam. After traveling in Africa and the Middle East, he repudiated the Nation of Islam, disavowed racism and founded Muslim Mosque and the Organization of Afro-American Unity. He continued to emphasize Pan-Africanism, black self-defense and determination. He was assassinated in 1965 by three members of the Nation of Islam.