www.whyville.net Feb 15, 2007 Weekly Issue

Whyville Columnist

Change the World: Someone You Should Know

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As many of you know, February is Black History Month, so I thought it would be cool to write a piece on civil rights, or segregation, or even a piece on the Super Bowl coaches who are making history this year, but then I thought, "What do I think of when I think of civil rights?" Well, the first name that came to mind was, of course, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but then I thought, "How about someone a little more risky."

Introducing, Malcolm X. Born Malcolm Little in North Omaha, Nebraska in 1925, Malcolm made his way through the social scale from a drug dealer, to a world renowned human rights activist. After meeting Elijah Muhammad in 1952, another well known activist in the civil rights movements, Malcolm changed his surname to "X", for reasons that he states as symbolically rejecting the mistreatment of his people for many years before.

Once Malcolm found a cause he devoted himself completely to it. Not only did he become the Minister of the Nation of Islam's Temple Number Eleven, but he made it his mission to make the temple grow and expand, which he was successful in doing. Malcolm was becoming well known throughout his time with the temple after being featured on a television broadcast. After that news publications were constantly asking Malcolm for quotations due to the extreme belief in his cause. Eventually Malcolm became one of the leading figures in the temple's movement and became famous across the country for leading a cultural revolution.

Malcolm's ambitions weren't limited to just the United States, either. After his split with the Nation of Islam's Temple, he visited various different countries, including Afica and Egypt, preaching equality. Although Malcolm's message was beginning to get less peaceful, he still kept the dream of equality alive. Unfortunately, like most other activists, Malcolm's life was cut short while he was giving a speech in Manhattan on February 21, 1965. Malcolm was only 39 years old.

Keep the dream alive. Equality won't just happen over night. Never forget the struggle of these people. This month, take time out to remember great activists such as Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and even Rosa Parks, who started a movement of her own without even trying. Anyone can make a difference.

Thanks for taking time out to change the world,

Here's to keeping the dream alive.


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