Malcolm X and Nat Turner

(biography.com)

      Nat Turner and Malcolm X were two men who were judged throughout their lives and constantly misunderstood. Malcolm X  and the Nation of Islam were misconstrued as violent African Americans who hated white people.When in reality, the Nation of Islam wanted nothing more than to better their community and increase their population. When people think about Nat Turner they immediately associate him as a monster who massacred “innocent” white people. However, if you and your ancestors were enslaved for generations and had no possibility of freedom you might’ve viewed this as your only option for a better life. Although these men had similar ideal when it came to civil rights and fighting against the issues of society, they also had a lot of religious similarities and differences. Through breaking down the life and times of both Malcolm X and Nat Turner, you will see that these men had a lot more in common than you initially thought.

        In the ninth chapter of Daniel, Daniel comes to the conclusion through a vision that he received from God that the 70-year period of Israel’s captivity is basically over, and that the Jews will soon return to their own land. Confused, Daniel immediately starts to pray for himself and his people. Shortly after his prayer of confession and petition is answered, but not necessarily in the way Daniel would have expected. God sent Gabriel, His angel, to give Daniel a better understanding and more insight into the vision he had received,  making it possible for him to see the near future from a different perspective. God wanted Daniel to understand the relationship between Israel’s soon return to the land and the rebuilding of the temple—in the light of God’s promise to restore His people and establish His kingdom on the earth. God wanted Daniel to know that Israel’s imminent return to the land was not the coming of the kingdom of God.

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        Similarly, Nat Turner a very religious man spent most of his time reading the Bible, praying and fasting who also believed in signs as well as hearing divine voices, claimed that had a vision in 1825 of a bloody conflict between black and white spirits. Three years later, he had what he believed to be another message from God who revealed to him he had been chosen to lead slaves from bondage. In his later confession, Turner explained “the Spirit instantly appeared to me and said the Serpent was loosened, and Christ had laid down the yoke he had borne for the sins of men, and that I should take it on and fight against the Serpent. ” To translate this basically meant that, “I should arise and prepare myself and slay my enemies with their own weapons.” Turner took a solar eclipse that occurred in February 1831 as a signal that the time to rise up had come.

(usatoday.com)

      A born and raised Christian, Malcolm X was a very religious child until his teen years. However, after going to prison, Malcolm X rediscovered his faith but instead of returning to Christianity, he converted to the Nation of Islam. After the Nation and Malcolm X are unintentionally pulled into the Civil Rights movement, Malcolm X makes some less than satisfactory comments about the separation of races, white people being “blue eyed devils” (which came from his idol Elijah Muhammad), and the assassination of JKF. These outrageous comments plus the release of the movie “The Hate that Hate Produced” added to the negative connotation that was associated with the Nation of Islam and more specifically Malcolm X. However, this was not the whole picture. Malcolm X was a devout follower of the Nation and the teachings of his leader Elijah Muhammad. X would pray 5 times a day, never ate pork, would fast when necessary, became celibate, and even changed his last name from Little to X to prove that he was worthy of being a part of the Nation.

          Malcolm X and Nat Turner both did some unacceptable things during their lives. Nat Turner started a riot that led to the death of hundreds of people, black and white. Additionally, Malcolm X called an entire race “devils” and called for African Americans to defend themselves which was incorrectly shown as Malcolm X asking African Americans to rebel against white people. These terrible things stayed with them for the rest of their lives and will forever live on in their legacy. However, these negative, violent connotations that these men have are not the only way that they are similar. Both of them were very dedicated to their religions which after extensive research is very clear.

 

Sources:

“Nat Turner.” Biography.com, A&E Networks Television, 28 Apr. 2017, www.biography.com/people/nat-turner-9512211.

“10. Daniel’s Prayer and Gabriel’s Proclamation (Daniel 9:1-27).”  Bible.org, bible.org/seriespage/10-daniel-s-prayer-and-gabriel-s-proclamation-daniel-91-27.