The so-called "American dream" is a reality for a few whites and a hopeless pursuit for most. Every dream contains its own nightmare and for most white Americans, Malcolm X was an "American nightmare." Even today, thirty years since his assassination in 1965, most whites in America still perceive Malcolm X as a black man who preached racial hatred and advocated black violence towards whites.

In this paper I intend to dispel these myths by demonstrating that during the final months of Malcolm X's life he developed into an authentic revolutionary who influenced and was influenced by the national liberation struggles of the 1960s that took place in Africa, Asia, Central America and the Caribbean. For Malcolm X, the civil rights struggle and the opposition to Jim Crow segregation in America was merely part of the global struggle by people of color to topple decades of European colonialism and imperialism. Certainly if George Washington and the other so-called founding fathers were revolutionaries who killed the British because of their opposition to paying taxes, how much more revolutionary was the struggle by African Americans in the 1960s and the leadership that Malcolm X provided in an attempt to end the apartheid structures in American life?

Placed in this context, the paper will discuss the evolution of Malcolm X's political perspectives on the following questions: (1) Racism and racist oppressors; (2) the internationalization of black liberation struggle in America; (3) the civil rights struggle; (4) religion and political organization; (5) the political and social advancement of women.



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