20 Feb 2013
In New York City on February 21, 1965, Malcolm X, an African American nationalist and religious leader, is assassinated by rival Black Muslims while addressing his Organization of Afro-American Unity at the Audubon Ballroom in Washington Heights. Malcolm X, born Malcolm Little, lived a troubled life and served time in prison. While in prison, he met a few Black Muslims who taught him the teachings of Elijah Muhammad, the founder of the Nation of Islam. He became a Muslim and joined the Nation of Islam after leaving prison. He became an effective minister and was elected to serve as minister of Mosque Number 7 in Harlem where membership grew under his leadership. He became well known in the civil rights movement for his black nationalism and self-reliance "by any means necessary." He was very critical of the civil rights movement and the leaders. Later when he said some controversial about the assassination of John F Kennedy, he was suspended by Elijah Muhammad. Not long after, he left the nation of Islam after disagreeing with much of its teachings and with how Elijah lived his life. He took a pilgrimage to Mecca with Muslims around the world and saw the brotherhood and was influenced by it and converted to Sunni Islam. Even though he still believed in self-reliance, he believed that people of many colors can live together voluntarily in harmony. He and Alex Haley collaborated to write the Autobiography of Malcolm X.