This Often Overlooked Part of Malcolm X’s Legacy Is Also One Of The Most Important

malcolm x in discussion
Alyssa Guzik
March 27, 2024

“The most disrespected person in America is the Black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the Black woman. The most neglected person in America is the Black woman.” Malcolm said this with his whole chest, and he had good reason for it.

A fierce and lifelong advocate for Black women's rights, Malcolm X's defense of Black women, especially those who had survived sexual harassment and abuse, is often overlooked. He consistently championed Black women in the fight for racial equality and social justice and held accountable anyone who disrespected or abused them.

Malcolm X disavowed his mentor, Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad, when he was accused of sexual assault. He called out the Nation for supporting male activists while ignoring female activists like Fannie Lou Hamer. He wasn’t fronting, either. When it came to respecting Black women, Brother Malcolm didn't play.

Despite backlash and criticism, including from within the Nation and the Black community, Malcolm X remained unwavering in his commitment to uplifting and supporting Black women. He understood what we still struggle with today: for our community to be whole, we must listen to and amplify the voices of the vulnerable.

Malcolm X recognized the intersectional struggles of Black women and worked tirelessly to amplify their voices. By advocating for Black women's rights, Malcolm X challenged societal norms and pushed for full inclusivity in the fight for equality. He understood that a unified community is crucial for our ultimate liberation.

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