->''"[[ViolenceIsTheOnlyOption I don't even call it violence when it's in self defense; I call it intelligence.]]"''

'''Malcolm X''' (born '''Malcolm Little''', also named '''El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz''' at the end of his life) was a leader of the American UsefulNotes/CivilRightsMovement [[note]]It's worth noting that Malcolm himself would likely contest this claim; he was specifically part of the Black Power wing, which insisted that it was not part of the mainstream Civil Rights Movement but a separate movement in its own right. Malcolm, for the record, always called himself a HUMAN rights activist, not a civil rights activist.[[/note]] and contemporary to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, until his assassination in [[TheSixties 1965]]. While King was known for {{Mahatma Gandhi}}-styled civil disobedience, Malcolm X was known for a more militant response, which he deemed necessary to bring about positive change. Summed up in one speech as this:
->''One of my reasons for going out on a limb as I have is to try and make white people be shocked, awake to some of their senses. Because if they don't awake they're gonna find out that this little Negro that they thought was passive has become a roaring, uncontrollable lion right in, right at their doorst--not at their doorstep--inside their house, in their bed, in their kitchen, in their attic, in their basement. And if you know that in time you can do something about it.''

!TropeNamer for:
* MalcolmXerox

!Malcolm X provides examples of:
* AngryBlackMan: Though he was not the first African-American civil rights leader to use furious and fiery rhetoric, he certainly made it popular. In his later years he mellowed somewhat, one theory for his assassination being that he was killed by a competing Black Power faction who didn't want him persuading the movement to be less angry and more conciliatory.
* BadassBookworm: The impression conveyed by most of his pictures, reinforced by his militancy and extensive reading.
* BerserkButton: [[DefiedTrope Defied]] by Malcolm himself, according to his autobiography; he almost never talked about his institutionalized mother, for fear that he would snap if somebody were to make the wrong remark.
* BiTheWay: A number of biographers believe that he prostituted himself to a few men in his early years.
* CatchPhrase: "...By any means necessary."
* CharacterDevelopment: After his conversion to Sunni Islam and spending time overseas in Muslim countries, he became struck by the relative broad-scale egalitarianism displayed by Middle Eastern countries (for instance, when he was in Egypt, he couldn't help but notice that Anwar Sadat, one of the leaders of the military junta in charge at the time, was half-black, which wasn't even close to being an issue with the rest of the Egyptian leadership--most of whom were dark-skinned, but all of whom would unquestionably be "white" in America). The effect stuck with him and by his own admission made him rethink his own hostility towards white Americans. Though he died before making his more recent opinions known, there were some indications that he was leaving behind or even disapproved of his prior methods.
* {{Foil}}: To Martin Luther King and his non-violent solution to the non-European-American community's lack of rights.
* HotBlooded
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: One of the most aggressive leaders of the Civil Rights Movement.
* MeaningfulRename: He adapted X as a last name because he didn't want to use a name that came from some slavemaster.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: After his pilgrimage to Mecca, where he saw Muslims of all races living peacefully together, Malcolm's views changed significantly. He openly came to regret many of his former beliefs by the time he was killed.
* NecessaryEvil: Later in life he described his more militant methods as part of a sort of two-pronged approach to civil rights activism: by pulling heat onto himself and his followers, he allowed his contemporaries more room to work and made the greater civil rights movement more attractive. This likely had something to do with his general shift to a more moderate attitude in his later years, though it's unclear if his "shock to the system" mindset ever died down completely.
* NotSoDifferent: To Martin Luther King Jr. Both fought against segregation and racial discrimination against black people. However, their methods on approaching the issue were different. Martin Luther King Jr. preferred a peaceful TurnTheOtherCheek approach while Malcolm X preferred a ViolenceIsTheOnlyOption approach when dealing with racism. He did recant some of his violent viewpoints after his pilgrimage to Mecca though.
* OddFriendship: Malcolm X was actually good friends with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. despite the difference of their methods in the Civil Rights Movement. There is even [[http://kwanzaaguide.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/martin-luther-king-and-malcolm-x1.jpg a famous photo]] of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X standing side-by-side together smiling. [[note]]This photo was taken sometime after Malcolm X left the Nation of Islam and said photo was actually used in Creator/SpikeLee's ''Film/DoTheRightThing''[[/note]] This was the only time the pair ever met, while visiting the Capitol before the signing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
* RousingSpeech: So, so many.
* ScaryBlackMan: How many white people perceived him. It seems to have been intended by him.
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVsCynicism: The cynical counterpart to MLK's idealist.
* TookALevelInKindness: After his pilgrimage.
* ViolenceIsTheOnlyOption:: Strong believer of this. This is subverted that his violent viewpoints were toned down after his pilgrimage to Mecca.
* WhatTheHellHero: His early, pre-Mecca speeches can often come across this way. Special mention goes to the time when he was asked about the JohnFKennedy assassination and he called it "chickens coming home to roost." [[note]]It's a phrase that basically means "What goes around comes around." What he meant was that a society that has to use violent suppression to stay in power (in this case, racist Southern whites) will eventually end up using that violence on themselves, and that this is the inevitable road for all violent societies.[[/note]] The Nation of Islam, which was officially very sympathetic with the Kennedy family and their loss, censured Malcolm. This event, among others, led to him leaving the Nation of Islam.

!Malcolm X in media:
* Creator/SpikeLee made a movie about his life, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin simply titled]] ''[[{{Film/MalcolmX}} Malcolm X]]''.
* The Ethan Stoller song "BKAB" is named for, and uses, the second quote above, and suggests similarities and inspiration drawn between Malcolm X and the other quoted leader, Gloria Steinam, and the lead character in the film using the song (in the credits), ''Film/VForVendetta''. On the official soundtrack, the excerpts were removed, due to rights of use.