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What Makes a Great American?

Essay by   •  April 25, 2018  •  Research Paper  •  3,037 Words (13 Pages)  •  290 Views

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                What Makes A Great American?

What makes a Great American? In life there are many obstacles that we must over come and questions we must answer. The true measure of greatness doesn’t stem from what we have but how we jump over these obstacles and how we react when  placed in certain situations.  You cant measure a person qualities just by looking at where they stand on the social ladder or how high up they sit in the political word. The time and place to really see an individuals level of greatness is to see how they react when times are rough and things are looking so good. Its so easy to stay down once your on the floor but a person who will stand up and continue the fight even when the fight looks like it may be lost is a person that everyone should respect. A Great American is someone when faced in danger for themself or others  puts up theirs hands and fights the battle. A Great American is someone that when they see a problem they confront it and solve the problem by any means needed.  A  Great American is a leader someone who will stand up and lead the charge as we fight for what ever we think is right, a person who will put their face and life on the line to do what ever it is they feel needed. Some one who is consistent, creative, capable courageous, innovative, understanding and a person with integrity and has a  strong will power and uses these traits to help better the lives of  American citizens is what makes a great American. There are example of Great Americans from all different time periods and they all did Great things for the people of America and have really shaped and change America as we know it. With out all of these Greats who knows how our country would be. Two men that personify the meaning of Great American are Franklin D. Roosevelt and Malcolm X. These two men had very interesting lives and have been through a lot to be considered Great Americans. It isn’t a title that easy is said but a title that is difficult to earn and maintain. Malcolm X was very interesting person who fought for the rights of equality and did so by what ever mean he felt needed to, he was a man who spoke his mind and never held his tongue. Franklin D. Roosevelt was great President and leader who kept the spirts up in America during times of depression and also a time of war. What these two men have done for America speaks volumes about their character. Malcom X and Franklin D Roosevelt are examples of great Americans        

Malcolm X through out history did many great things for the American people specifically people of color in the United States. Malcolm X wasn’t always his name, he was born as Malcolm Little in Omaha , Nebraska. He grew up with just him and his mother Louise Little. Later in life Malcolm X decided to change his last name to X instead of keeping little because he said that was a name given to his family by slave owners ( biography ). Malcolm X played a huge role during the Civil rights movement as he helped African Americans pick them selves up and redefine who they were.

What Malcolm X did is something that can’t really be put on paper but was something that was felt and moved colored people across the nation to stand up and fight for themselves. America in Malcolm X’s time was a lot different from what it is now, back then white people and black people were not equal and did not have the same rights. Malcolm growing up saw a lot of hate towards blacks through out his child hood. When Malcolm was younger him and his family was forced to move due to death threats from white supremacist groups; his home was surrounded by a group of Ku Klux Klan members and his family was told that they must leave and get out of town because they weren’t wanted around because of Earl Little who was Malcolms father. The klans men said the good Christian white people were not going to stand for his back to Africa speeches and that they were ruining the good negroes in their society                 ( biography ). Also growing up Malcolm was a great student and graduated at the top of his class and dreams of being a lawyer. This was his dream up until the point is teacher told him that his dream wasn’t realistic for a black person, after this happened is when Malcolm started to change and see things around him differently.

One thing that Malcolm X did to help change America was the creation of The Organization of Afro – American Unity ( OOAU ) . What this Pan – African group did was fight for the rights of African American people and promoted people to work together instead of fighting each other. What Malcolm X had in store with the OOAU was for blacks to rise to the top and be equal to the whites and be able to live life which ever way they wanted to. With the creation of the OOAU Malcolm X put out guide lines and objectives for the program. He stated that in order for blacks to oppress themselves from their enslavers they must first restore their roots with Africa, the way Malcolm felt this was possible was by means of literature and other educational means. Through the OOAU Malcolm X wanted to really educate the black children and liberate their minds. He said that the Afro –American kids will be the future and they need to be educated

(pan- african persepective ). With the creation of this organization he really tried to motivate blacks to be the very best that they can be. The OOAU strived for blacks to have total control over the communities. Malcolm X felt that blacks have been brain washed by by others and have been told lies about the culture and who they really are. He hoped that the OOAU would be the way that blacks would become un brain washed and finally learn the truth about who they really are and what it means to be African or Afro – American. Malcolm X wanted one thing and one thing only and that was for blacks to be equal and to be happy. He believed that this was the main goal for blacks and should be achieved by no matter what means needed to do so. Malcolm stated that every black man should be putting forth all of ones effort into creating their own business and their own home like every other race has done according the Malcolm the black man will never be respected until he has what ever one else does, things such as property and jobs. Until the black man has all of what everyone else does he will not be looked at as a human being. He said that black people need to start respecting them selves, the white man might not respect you but one thing that he will never be able to take away from you is self respect. He felt that blacks shouldn’t have to rely on anybody to help them out with their problems. Inreference to drug and alcohol problems Malcolm X said the black man needs to create there own program for drunkenness , drug addiction and prostitution, The black man in America needs to lift up up there own sense of values. Malcolm X just like Martin Luther King Jr. were fighting for rights of blacks along side with others but these two men were the main leaders for the Afro - American people. They Both had similar goals but went about doing them in different ways. Martin Luther King Jr fought for black right buts in a more peaceful manner, Malcolm X on the other hand had a different view. Malcolm wasn’t a violent person as everyone said he was he just believed in self defense. A great example of this is when Malcom X said “peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery” This showed what and how Malcolm thought, he was nt violent he was just sick and tired of blacks getting beat up on wheter that meant verbally or physically. The only thing Malcolm X wanted was a brighter future for his people nothing more and nothing less. Malcolm X was really charismatic and was a great leader. His presence and speeches moved thousands of people

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