From Emmett Till to Barack Obama

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John Launois / Black Star

Malcolm X
Born Malcolm Little in 1925, Malcolm X changed his name while serving time in prison, where he was introduced to the Muslim religion and the teachings of Nation of Islam founder Elijah Muhammad. The X, he said, symbolized the true African family name that he could never know. During the 1950s, he was instrumental in increasing the membership in the Nation of Islam and became known for has aggressive approach to addressing the inequities between black and white Americans. Unlike King and his associates in the civil rights movement, who advocated a nonviolent approach to achieving equality, Malcolm X espoused the rejection of whites and advocated "armed self-defense" as the best strategy to win freedom, justice and equality.

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