Mainstream black ministers in Detroit tried to block Malcolm X from using the church, saying "separatist ideas can do nothing but set back the colored man's cause." But the church hall had already been rented out for the event."The Ballot or the Bullet" became one of Malcolm X's most recognizable phrases, and the speech was one of his greatest orations.
He became the chief spokesman and field recruiter for NOI leader Elijah Muhammad.
As historian Peniel Joseph describes it, NOI's unorthodox interpretation of Islam was mixed with a doctrine of black personal responsibility and economic self-sufficiency, along with "theological fundamentalism, anti-white mythology, and total racial separation as the means to black redemption." Wearing impeccable suits, maintaining an air of fierce dignity and adhering to a strict code of moral propriety, Malcolm X was a living demonstration of how the NOI could save a wayward people from racial submission and personal self-destruction.
He read voraciously while serving time and converted to the Black Muslim faith.
He joined the Nation of Islam (NOI) and changed his name to Malcolm X, eliminating that part of his identity he called a white-imposed slave name.
The Nation dismissed the conventional civil rights movement – with its protest marches and demands for equal rights legislation -- as impotent and misguided.
Research Newspaper Headlines - Malcolm X By Any Means Necessary Essay
As Malcolm X declared in this speech, the only effective solution to racial inequality was black economic and social separatism.
Malcolm X was one of the most dynamic, dramatic and influential figures of the civil rights era.
He was an apostle of black nationalism, self respect, and uncompromising resistance to white oppression.
Malcom X was released in 1952 after six years in prison.
With his charisma and eloquence, Malcolm rose rapidly in the Nation of Islam.