onsdag 16 september 2009

Malcom X Part 3 Early years

Malcolm Little was born on May 19, 1925, in Omaha, Nebraska, to Earl and Louise Little (née Louisa Norton). His father was an outspoken Baptist lay speaker; he supported Pan-African activist Marcus Garvey and was a local leader of the Universal Negro Improvement Association(UNIA).
Malcolm never forgot the values of black pride and self-reliance that his father and other UNIA leaders preached. Malcolm X later said that three of Earl Little's brothers, one of whom was lynched, died violently at the hands of white men.
Because of Ku Klux Klan threats, the family relocated in 1926 to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and shortly thereafter to Lansing, Michigan.

Marcus Garvey, founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA). Earl Little was a local leader of the UNIA.
Earl Little was dark-skinned and born in Georgia.
Earl's second wife was Louise, with whom he had seven children, of whom Malcolm was the fourth. Earl and Louise Little's children's names were, in order: Wilfred, Hilda, Philbert, Malcolm, Reginald, Yvonne, and Wesley. He had three children (Ella, Mary, and Earl, Jr.) from his first marriage.

Louise Little had been born in Grenada. Her father was Scottish and she was so light-skinned that she could have passed for white. Malcolm inherited his light complexion from his mother and grandfather. Initially he felt his light skin was a status symbol, but he later said he "hated every drop of that white rapist's blood that is in me."
Malcolm X later remembered feeling that his father favored him because he was the lightest child in the family; however, he thought his mother treated him harshly for the same reason. One of Malcolm's nicknames, "Red", derived from the tinge of his hair. According to one biographer, at birth he had "ash-blonde hair ... tinged with cinnamon", and at four, "reddish-blonde hair".
His hair darkened as he aged, but he also resembled his paternal grandmother, whose hair "turned reddish in the summer sun." The issue of skin color and skin tone took on very significant implications later in Malcolm's life.

In December 1924, Louise Little was threatened by Klansmen while she was pregnant with Malcolm. She recalled that the Klansmen warned the family to leave Omaha, because Earl Little's activities with UNIA were "spreading trouble".
After they moved to Lansing, their house was burned in 1929, but the family escaped without physical injury. On September 28, 1931, Earl Little was run over by a streetcar in Lansing and died. Authorities ruled his death an accident. The police reported that Earl Little was conscious when they arrived on the scene, and he told them he had slipped and fallen under the streetcar's wheels.
Malcolm X later remembered that the black community disputed the cause of death, believing there was circumstantial evidence of assault. His family had frequently been harassed by the Black Legion, a white supremacist group that his father accused of burning down their home in 1929. Some blacks believed the Black Legion killed Earl Little. As Malcolm later wrote, "How could my father bash himself in the head, then get down across the streetcar tracks to be run over?"

Though Earl Little had two life insurance policies, his family received death benefits solely from the smaller policy. The insurance company of the larger policy claimed that his father had committed suicide and refused to issue the benefit. Several years after her husband's death, Louise had her youngest son, Robert Little, by an unnamed partner In December 1938 Louise Little had a nervous breakdown and was declared legally insane.
The Little siblings were split up and sent to different foster homes. The state formally committed Louise Little to the state mental hospital at Kalamazoo, Michigan, where she remained until Malcolm and his siblings secured her release 26 years later.

Malcolm Little was one of the best students in his junior high school, but he dropped out after a white eighth-grade teacher told him that his aspirations of being a lawyer were "no realistic goal for a nigger."
Years later, Malcolm X would laugh about the incident, but at the time it was humiliating. It made him feel that there was no place in the white world for a career-oriented black man, no matter how smart he was. After enduring a series of white foster parents, Malcolm moved to Boston in February 1941 to live with his older half-sister, Ella Little Collins.

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