Don't forget to confirm subscription in your email.
Malcolm was the seventh of his father's nine children — three by a previous marriage — and his mother's fourth child. Most of Malcolm's early life was spent in and about Lansing, Michigan, where the family lived on a farm. Although the Little family was poor, they were self-sufficient until Reverend Little's death in After this, family unity began to dissolve: Little suffered a severe nervous breakdown and was sent to the state mental hospital.
The other children became wards of the state. Malcolm's defiant behavior toward authority remained a problem, and at thirteen, he was sent to the Michigan State Detention Home, bound for reform school.
At the detention home, he received favored treatment as a "mascot" of the white couple who operated the homeand rather than being sent on to reform school, he remained in the home through the eighth grade. In junior high school, Malcolm became an outstanding student and was very popular with his schoolmates.
But his world was upset in the eighth grade when his English teacher advised him not to try to become a lawyer because he was "a nigger. Finally, he asked to be transferred to the custody of his half-sister Ella, who lived in Boston.
The request was granted, and he arrived in Boston in the spring of In Boston, Malcolm found himself more attracted to the street life in the ghetto than to Ella's upper-class Roxbury society. A friend got him a job as a shoeshine boy at the Roseland Ballroom, which rapidly became the center of his social life.
With straightened hair and wearing a zoot suit, the hustler's uniform, he began to spend most of his free time there, dancing and learning the trades of the con man, the pimp, the dope pusher, and the thief. Ella's last hopes for saving him from ruin disappeared when he jilted Laura, the "respectable" Roxbury girl he had been dating, for a white woman, Sophia.
When America entered World War II, Malcolm was sixteen, too young for the army, but by lying about his age, he was able to get a job on the railroad, the war having caused a shortage of black porters, cooks, and waiters. This job took him for the first time to New York City, and when he was fired from the railroad for wild behavior, he went to Harlem to live.
He took a job as a waiter at Small's Paradise, a famous Harlem club, where he became acquainted with the elite of Harlem's underworld.
When he was fired from Small's for soliciting an Army spy for a prostitute, he moved naturally into the sorts of jobs he had been learning from Small's customers — selling marijuana, stickups, numbers running, and bootlegging.
After running into trouble with another hustler, and a narrow scrape with the police, Malcolm fled back to Boston. There he formed a burglary ring, with Sophia, her sister, and his friend Shorty.
Again, he got into trouble: He was caught and sentenced to ten years in prison. During his seven years in prisonMalcolm underwent a great change.
He was greatly influenced by a prisoner called Bimbi, a self-educated man who convinced Malcolm of the value of education. In the intervening years since leaving the eighth grade, Malcolm had forgotten how to read and write, but with Bimbi's tutelage and encouragement, he began to read and study, even taking correspondence courses in English and Latin.
InMalcolm's brother Reginald visited the prison and told Malcolm that he had a way to get him out of prison. He would not elaborate upon his scheme, but he did tell Malcolm not to eat any more pork.
Purely on faith, Malcolm followed Reginald's advice. He later saw this as an instance of Allah, the God of Islam, working his will. Reginald's plan was to enlist Malcolm as a member of the Nation of Islam, popularly known as the "Black Muslims.
The teachings of Elijah Muhammad stimulated Malcolm's interest in history, particularly in the history of the black peoples of the world; he found after studying history that there was compelling evidence of the white man's evil nature.
Thus Malcolm joined the Nation of Islam and adopted the name by which he was to become famous — Malcolm X. InMalcolm was paroled and went to Detroit to live with his brother Wilfred, also a member of the Black Muslims.
Malcolm took a job in an automobile factory and began finding out all he could about the Nation of Islam. He even went to Chicago to meet Elijah Muhammad and eventually quit his job to study personally under this man, whom he considered his "savior.
In the years between andthe Nation of Islam grew from a small number of storefront temples to a large, organized, vocal national movement dedicated to black separatism, and Malcolm became its best-known and most volatile spokesman.
During this time, he was minister of Temple Number Seven and was organizer of several other temples around the country. He became increasingly close to Elijah Muhammad, both as an adviser and a friend. Early inMalcolm was married to Betty X, a member of his congregation.Malcolm X was born 80 years ago today, on 19 May But amid the commemorations, controversy is brewing.
Some black activists are enraged by suggestions that their hero might have been gay - or. • Betty Shabazz (formerly Betty X, born Betty Sanders), wife of Malcolm X, the only person he would trust with his life, dies in a fire allegedly set by grandson, Malcolm, named after Malcolm X.
Malcolm X — American Activist born on May 19, , died on February 21, Malcolm X, born Malcolm Little and also known as el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz, was an American Muslim minister and a human rights activist.
Malcolm X was born on May 19, , in Omaha. Back in school, Malcolm Little was a good student and wished to study law. Malcolm X was born Malcolm Little on May 19, in Omaha, Nebraska.
His mother, Louise Norton Little, was a homemaker occupied with the family’s eight children. His father, Earl Little, was an outspoken Baptist minister and avid supporter of Black Nationalist leader Marcus Garvey. Malcolm struggled and read a lot because facing the white needed a lot of knowledge and confidence.
More on Genius About “The books that changed Malcolm X's Life”.