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Both Jackie Robinson and Malcolm X Offer Different Perspectives on the Appropriate Strategies for the Black Freedom Movement

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It is important to note that South African events do not occur in a vacuum, as we are part of a large continent and a much larger world. Therefore, what happens in the 'North' has a huge impact on what happens here. For this section, it is important to understand the international background, and what the world was like in the 1960s. This will help us contextualise the Black Consciousness Movement in South Africa in the 1970s.

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Few days in Malcolm Little’s imprisonment ever made him smile. He inhabited a caged world where sinners outnumber saviors and hell is a lot closer than heaven. But on April 15, 1947, a grin eased across his face as he listened to the radio. Little, still years away from dropping that “slave name” and replacing it with “X,” wed himself to the radio to hear Jackie Robinson become the first African-American to break Major League Baseball’s color barrier. Little understood what was at stake. If Robinson succeeded on the field, he would shatter the ugly stereotypes about black-male inferiority. Carrying the burden of his race also meant that, if he failed, it would set back the freedom movement. But just hearing the announcer call Robinson’s name was enough to fill Little with pride, calling himself, then, Robinson’s most “fanatic fan” in The Autobiography of Malcolm X. You only do two days in the joint: the day you go in and the day you get out. In 1947, Little passed the time acting as Robinson’s unofficial statistician, figuring out his batting average after every game. He was in the second year of an eight-to-10 year sentence for burglary. Less than a year later, he was transferred to Concord Prison, where his brother, Philbert, persuaded him to join the Nation of Islam, a decision that would make him the most controversial black man in America years later

In many ways, when Robinson integrated the MLB, it placed him at the forefront of the modern civil rights movement. There was still work to be done, as not every team was as open as the Brooklyn Dodgers to diversifying its clubhouse to men who looked like Robinson. But peering into the stands in National League ballparks across the country, Robinson saw black faces in the same section as white faces. For black folks, going to see Robinson play baseball was an event.

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Black women, of the black movement period, played key roles in the emancipation of black Americans. They were caretakers for various civil rights movements, during which they acted as community builders. They were also very active in forming networks for fighting for the rights of black people. It is unquestionable that black women of the black revolution period were tireless workers, central figures in civil rights groups, outspoken voices in campaigns and rallies for fighting for rights of the black people, and thus they were very active as members of the Black Nationalist movements that were created and engineered by their male counterparts like Malcolm X. Other black women nationalists even extended their anti-imperialist activism to third world countries in Africa, and Asia.Such third world countries include China, Algeria, Ghana, and a number of other third world countries. Examples of the stated activists include Shirley Graham Du Bois, a very influential figure in the Black Nationalist movements, and Garvin (Charlayne, 2008). Their activism in civil rights made a lot of people gain freedom from bondage by imperialist governments. It is thus evident that the black freedom movement had far-reaching liberalizing effects on the oppressed and the enslaved. It is very unfortunate that the acts of these brave women have been virtually left out of the history of black freedom. Historical records are full of the activist activities of their male counterparts like Malcolm X and his friend, Martin Luther King Jr. (Dr. King)

It is thus of essence that a nuanced approach to the preservation of historical facts is followed. Scholars should also work to establish the extent to which black women contributed to the freedom of black people during this period

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For the most part, Carmichael was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1985, and although it is unclear precisely what he meant, he said publicly that his cancer “was given to me by forces of American imperialism and others who conspired with them.” He died on November 15, 1998, at the age of 57

An inspired orator, persuasive essayist, effective organizer and expansive thinker, Carmichael stands out as one of the preeminent figures of the American civil rights movement. His tireless spirit and radical outlook are perhaps best captured by the greeting with which he answered his telephone until his dying day: “Ready for the revolution!”

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Charlayne, H. (2008). Black Women Freedom Fighters: History Lived, Lessons.

Learned. Retrieved from

Cole, J. (2003). Gender Talk: The Struggle for Women’s Equality in African American Communities. New York. Ballantine Books.

Elaine, B. (1992). A Taste of Power: A Black Women’s Story. New York. Pantheon Books.

Lollar, M. (2009). Husband’s death turns Evers-Williams into champion of social justice. Web.

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