Malcolm X is an extremely critical figure that contributed in shaping American social life. He was a famous man who articulated the struggle, anger, and beliefs of African Americans. He was a radical man who fought for change despite the situation. His struggle for equality for the black nation landed him in prison. While in prison, Malcolm was able to study, and earned a college degree. However, most importantly, while in prison, Malcolm X was introduced to the Islamic faith by one of the prisoners. He received teachings from the Muslim faith, which made him realize that, his people were being oppressed, and abused by the whites. While out of prison, he went to visit honorable Elijah Muhammad, and later on went around preaching the Elijah Muhammad’s teachings. Through his preaching’s, he was able to bring many people into the Muslim faith. He afterwards decided to visit the Middle East, and make a holy pilgrimage/ Hajj in Mecca. Malcolm X’s views about the potential for real change in America changed, after visiting Mecca and breaking with the Nation of Islam.
Malcolm X’s views about the potential for real change in America after visiting Mecca changed a lot. Initially, he was radical about black separatism, but after visiting Mecca, this call was gone for good. In his journey to Mecca through Cairo, Jeddah, and Saudi city, Malcolm claims that, he witnessed what he had never seen in the United States. According to him, men of all color, nationalities were treating each other with love, and equality, in contrast to what was happening in America. The Muslims had an admirable unity that changed Malcolm’s view of the world, and what should be done to change America. He says, “Throngs of people, obviously Muslims from everywhere, bound for the pilgrimage, were hugging and embracing” (Malcolm 98). This was like a dream to Malcolm because, this could have never happened in the United States whereby there was racial segregation and inequality in everything. The Muslims who had gathered for the pilgrimage were of all complexions, and there was no color problem in Islam, like it was for the people in the United States. Malcolm states that, Islam reflects the equality of all human beings before God, regardless of their status and color.
After visiting Mecca, Malcolm changed his plan for real change in America from the black revolution of black separatism to radical humanism. Malcolm came back to the United States and stopped advocating for separatism, and instead advocated for integration and brotherhood globally. According to Malcolm, America needed to embrace, and understand Islam in order to have a real change. Malcolm believed that, Islam was the only religion that could erase the race problem in America, and change it for the better. During that time, race was the main problem in the United States, and something needed to be done in order to create equality among all Americans. In addition, Malcolm believed that, his continued faith in Islam was a potential source for change in the United States. However, there was a big difference between the Islam he experienced in the Middle East, compared to the Islam he was practicing in the United States. His only wish was, if only Americans could learn brotherhood from Muslims, then, there could be a new American with peace and equality.
Malcolm used Islam as a vehicle to bring change in the United States. He used Islam as a tool to promote social, economic, spiritual, and political self-sufficiency amongst the black people. He wanted to give the black people independence by promoting brotherhood through Islam. According to Malcolm, Islam erases the race problem the race problem in the society after he discovered a much deeper Islam that is concerned with universal theological questions (Malcolm 119 ). After his visit to Mecca, Malcolm was determined to change his people through peace other than radical rebellions and hatred towards the whites.
After his visit to Mecca, Malcolm believed that the race problem in America could be solved. After solving the race problem, there will be real change in the United States. His views on the potential change in America changed a lot because; he learnt that, people of all complexions could stay together and embrace each other. The main hindrance for potential change in America was the race problem and he believed it could be solved through accepting Islam. While in Mecca, he experienced brotherhood, whereby there was no racial tension when the people met, and this made him see beyond the racial hierarchy of the American people. The whites oppressed the black people in America. Malcolm’s view on this issue after his visit to Mecca was that, the blacks needed to unite globally as a remedy for the race problem, and their struggle for equality. The blacks were blaming the whites for oppressing them; Malcolm suggests that, they embrace brotherhood through Islam, and work together to overcome the white oppression for a better America.
Malcolm felt like a complete human being while in Mecca because of the treatment he received while there. He believed that, there was a problem and the African Americans should start fighting for human rights, and forget about civil rights. Once he left Mecca, Malcolm was no longer anti-white, but he became pro-black whereby he became a leader of the blacks around the world. He confessed that he was not a racist anymore and that all he wanted was for the people to embrace unity (Malcolm 178 ).
Initially, according to Malcolm, change could be brought by black radicalism by fighting for their civil rights. Nevertheless, after visiting Mecca, his call for all Americans was to embrace Islam, as it was to wipe out racism. Muslims had no white attitude and shared with people of all races. Malcolm says, "You may be shocked by these words coming from me. But on this pilgrimage, what I have seen, and experienced, has forced me to rearrange much of my thought-patterns previously held, and to toss aside some of my previous conclusions" (Malcolm 201). He knew people would not believe him because; he was always on the front line, in the fight for civil rights. He wanted Americans to embrace brotherhood by eating from the same plate, sharing facilities, and all other things while praying to the same God. He wanted the blacks and whites to unite in brotherhood and treat each other equally other that the racial segregation that had hit America. His view was that, if Americans could accept the Oneness of God, they should also accept the Oneness of man and cease to oppress the people of color. Malcolm argued that, Americans should look for a solution for the racism issue before it became an incurable cancer.
Malcolm X is known to be one of the greatest civil rights leaders in the world history. He is also known for his violent messages to the blacks to defend themselves against the white people’s oppression. However, Malcolm’s visit to the Middle East caused a profound change in his views, about the potential for real change in America. He had newfound beliefs about how blacks can be successful in their struggle for equal rights, and against oppression by identifying with the rest of the oppressed people globally. Malcolm’s travels to the Middle East transformed his spiritual aspects, and how he looked at the current issues facing the United States. He underwent a quick conversion, which later made him an international figure, later in his life. After visiting Mecca, he realized that Africans needed to embrace brotherhood by converting to the Muslim faith in order to fight racism. Malcolm became a different person who instead of fighting radically for equality, he encouraged his people to fight for their human rights. The generosity and the kindness he saw from Muslims while in the Middle East changed his views on change in America. In essence, Malcolm X was a man who promoted a society whereby, all human beings were equally respected, in spite of their race or color.
X, Malcolm. The Autobiography of Malcolm X. New York: Ballatine Books, 1965. Print.