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Free Study Guide-The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X-Free Notes
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Chapter 16

Summary (continued)

Armed with these examples they spoke to other ministers in the various temples, so that there is no misunderstanding against Elijah. Malcolm then, met Elijah at his house. Elijah Muhammad accepted Malcolm's idea as the best way of squashing the talks going around the various temples of the Nation.

Soon after this incident, the same year, President John F. Kennedy was brutally assassinated. The press called up to seek his opinion. Although Malcolm X did not mean any offence to the President, his statement that the culture of hatred in America was now killing her own white people-making the Assassination a classic case of "chickens coming home to roost" was misinterpreted by the press. The next day most of the papers carried his statement: 'Black Muslims' Malcolm X: 'Chickens come Home to Roost'-making it seem as though the Nation of Islam did not feel sorry for this shocking incident. Elijah Muhammad was upset by this public statement made by Malcolm. He thought that it was a totally inappropriate time to make such a harsh statement.

Malcolm X accepted his mistake and was willing to take whatever punishment the organization would give. Elijah suspended him for ninety days. Malcolm X accepted it and returned to his Mosque in Harlem to inform the members. To his surprise they had already been informed about it. Even the press carried reports about his suspension.

However, what made him rather suspicious was when he heard talks within the organization that Malcolm X will be accepted back only if he submits. After a few days, he learns that one of his immediate assistants had been heard telling some brothers: 'If you knew what Minister (Malcolm X) did, you'd go out and kill him yourself.' This made him realize that this kind of death-talk for him must have been approved of by none other than the person for whom he always had a deep respect, Elijah Muhammad.

Malcolm X was totally shell-shocked. He felt like someone who had been in a beautiful marriage for twelve long years till one day his partner gives him divorce papers. Malcolm felt betrayed and hurt. To keep his mind off this emotional trauma, he accepts Cassius clay (the upcoming black boxer) invitation to visit him at Miami. Cassius Clay was in Miami training for his fight against Sonny Liston. Malcolm X had met young Cassius Clay in Detroit in 1962. He had come with his brother Rudolph to hear Elijah Muhammad speak. Cassius Clay seemed to admire Malcolm X for the way he came up to him and shook his hands. He would always make it a point to attend any talk delivered by Malcolm X near his place.


Malcolm to get away from the heat and stress sets off to Miami with his family for a short vacation. Malcolm stayed with Cassius till after the prize fight with Liston. Cassius won the fight.

A few days after he returned home, Malcolm learns about the first direct death warrant against him. A close former assistant was given the orders to plant a bomb in his car. But the man came and confessed every thing to him. Malcolm thanked him for his life and told him about what was really going on in Chicago. This incident made Malcolm leave the organization.

Through some close friends he learned that there were several members who would like to leave the organization to be with him. Malcolm after careful consideration, decided to build a new organization to help 'cure the black man in America of the sickness which has kept him under the white man's heel.' He felt that the black man was spiritually sick since he has accepted the white man's culture and endured all his cruelties for centuries. This is because Christianity had taught him to suffer all cruelties on Earth-so that he attains 'milk and honey' in heaven.

He felt that blacks were partly responsible for their condition. Therefore he wanted to build an organization which would make him realize his strength, make him aware of his own native culture and help them fight for black Human Rights. The organization he formed was called the Muslim Mosque Inc. He called a press conference and announced the formation of his new Muslim organization headed by him. He got an overwhelming response in this endeavor. Also requests for addressing gatherings came in from all over the country.

Muslim Mosque Inc. had its temporary head quarters at Hotel Theresa in Harlem.

Soon after the formation of his new organization, he decided to visit Mecca. But he did not have the money to make the pilgrimage. He turned to Ella for help. And Ella gave him the money without asking for any explanation.

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