(May 19, 1925 to February 21,1965)
Malcolm X was born Malcolm Little on May 19, 1925, in Omaha, Nebraska. Malcolm was the fourth of eight children born to Louise, a homemaker, and Earl Little, a preacher who was also an active member of the local chapter of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and avid supporter of Black Nationalist leader Marcus Garvey. The family moved many times and relocated to various cities. In 1931, things got much, much worse. Earl Little’s dead body was discovered laid out on the municipal streetcar tracks. Although Malcolm X’s father was very likely murdered by white supremacists, from which he had received frequent death threats, the police officially ruled his death a suicide, thereby avoid the large life insurance policy he had purchased in order to provide for his family in the event of his death. Malcolm X’s mother never recovered from the shock and grief of her husband’s death. In 1937, she was committed to a mental institution and Malcolm X left home to live with family friends.
Malcolm X attended West Junior High School, where he was the school’s only black student. He excelled academically and was well liked by his classmates, who elected him class president. However, he later said that he felt that his classmates treated him more like the class pet than a human being.
The turning point in Malcolm X’s childhood came in 1939, when his English teacher asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up and he answered that he wanted to be a lawyer. His teacher responded, “One of life’s first needs is for us to be realistic … you need to think of something you can be … why don’t you plan on carpentry?” Having thus been told in no uncertain terms that there was no point in a black child pursuing education, Malcolm X dropped out of school the following year,
at the age of 15. After quitting school, Malcolm X moved to Boston to live with his older half-sister, Ella, about whom he later recalled, “She was the first really proud black woman I had ever seen in my life. She was plainly proud of her very dark skin. This was unheard of among Negroes in those days.” Ella landed Malcolm a job shining shoes at the Roseland Ballroom. However, out on his own on the streets of Boston, Malcolm X became acquainted with the city’s criminal underground, soon turning to selling drugs. He got another job as kitchen help on the Yankee Clipper train between New York and Boston and fell further into a life of drugs and crime. Sporting flamboyant pinstriped zoot suits, he frequented nightclubs and dance halls and turned more fully to crime to finance his lavish lifestyle. This phase of Malcolm X’s life came to a screeching halt in 1946, when he was arrested on charges of larceny and sentenced to ten years in jail.
To pass the time during his incarceration, Malcolm X read constantly, devouring books from the prison library in an attempt make up for the years of education he had missed by dropping out of high school. Also while in prison, he was visited by several siblings who had joined to the Nation of Islam, a small sect of black Muslims who embraced the ideology of black nationalism—the idea that in order to secure freedom, justice and equality, black Americans needed to establish their own state entirely separate from white Americans. Malcolm X converted to the Nation of Islam while in prison, and upon his release in 1952 he abandoned his surname “Little,” which he considered a relic of slavery, in favor of the surname “X”—a tribute to the unknown name of his African ancestors.
He converted to the Nation of Islam while in prison, and upon his release in 1952 he abandoned his surname “Little,” which he considered a relic of slavery, in favor of the surname “X”—a tribute to the unknown name of his African ancestors. Now a free man, Malcolm X traveled to Detroit, Michigan, where he worked with the leader of the Nation of Islam, Elijah Muhammad, to expand the movement’s following among black Americans nationwide. Malcolm X became the minister of Temple No. 7 in Harlem and Temple No. 11 in Boston, while also founding new temples in Harford and Philadelphia. In 1960, he established a national newspaper,MUHAMMAD SPEAKS, in order to further promote the message of the Nation of Islam.
Articulate, passionate and a naturally gifted and inspirational orator, Malcolm X exhorted blacks to cast off the shackles of racism “by any means necessary,” including violence. “You don’t have a peaceful revolution,” he said. “You don’t have a turn-the-cheek revolution. There’s no such thing as a nonviolent revolution.” Such militant proposals—a violent revolution to establish an independent black nation—won Malcolm X large numbers of followers as well as many fierce critics.
Due primarily to the efforts of Malcolm X, the Nation of Islam grew from a mere 300 members at the time he was released from prison in 1952, to 30,000 members by 1960.
By the early 1960s, Malcolm X had emerged as a leading voice of a radicalized wing of the Civil Rights Movement, presenting an alternative to Dr.Martin Luther King vision of a racially integrated society achieved by peaceful means Dr. King was highly critical of what he viewed as Malcolm X’s destructive demagoguery. “I feel that Malcolm has done himself and our people a great disservice,” King once said.
Philosophical differences with King were one thing; a rupture with Elijah Muhammad proved much more traumatic. In 1963, Malcolm X became deeply disillusioned when he learned that his hero and mentor had violated many of his own teachings, most flagrantly by carrying on many extramarital affairs; Muhammad had, in fact, fathered several children out of wedlock. Malcolm’s feelings of betrayal, combined with Muhammad’s anger over Malcolm’s insensitive comments regarding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, led Malcolm X to leave the Nation of Islam in 1964.
That same year, Malcolm X embarked on an extended trip through North Africa and the Middle East. The journey proved to be both a political and spiritual turning point in his life. He learned to place the American Civil Rights Movement within the context of a global anti-colonial struggle, embracing socialism and pan-African-ism. Malcolm X also made the Hajj, the traditional Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, during which he converted to traditional Islam and again changed his name, this time to El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz.
After his epiphany at Mecca, Malcolm X returned to the United States less angry and more optimistic about the prospects for peaceful resolution to America’s race problems. “The true brotherhood I had seen had influenced me to recognize that anger can blind human vision,” he said. “America is the first country … that can actually have a bloodless revolution.” Tragically, just as Malcolm X appeared to be embarking on an ideological transformation with the potential to dramatically alter the course of the Civil Rights Movement.
In 1958, Malcolm X married Betty Sanders, a fellow member of the Nation of Islam. The couple had six children together, all daughters: Attallah (b. 1958), Qubilah (b. 1960), Ilyasah (b. 1963), Gamilah (b. 1964) and twins Malaak and Malikah (b. 1965)
February 21, 1965 the unthinkable action occurred as Malcolm X spoke at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem. He finished his speech and fires rang out striking into his body. He was pronounced dead at the scene with his wife Dr. Betty Shabazz and their children.
Malcolm X was the first to go up against the government as a prominent black leader in criticizing the United States role in the Southeast Asia and came even stronger in the opposing of the Vietnam War I 1964. He rose up the flag for unity and peace all is equal not gendered.
Dr. Betty Shabazz became a prominent civil rights and human rights activist in her own right in the aftermath of Malcolm X murder…
Malcolm X In my opinion I feel that the Nation of Islam was not only the one mainly responsible but was a duely cover up on the assassination well beloved and respected leader Malcolm X. Yes they killed him but who was behind the killing just as with Dr. Martin Luther King. Someone had to take the blame.
Malcolm X was a visionary, a Black Nationalist progressive strategy toward uniting black people across ideological, class lines, denominational religious lines, Christians, as well as Muslims, to build a strong movement for justice and for empowerment and freedom. I feel this is what frightened the FBI, and that is what frightened the CIA. That is what they had to stop, and if one thinks about it and who know the history of COINTELPRO, the counter intelligence program of the FBI that occurred in the 1960s and 70s, that in Late 1960’s , that J. Edgar Hoover wrote an infamous memo called the Black Messiah Memo. He said, “We must stop the rise of a black messiah.” That was the concern that the FBI had more than anything else. , he clearly became a threat to the United States.
His entire family has become silent for fear of the well being of themselves and life’s of their families.
as taken from an excerpt which her spoke with mark Wallace and Shabazz as she sat across from him you could feel the hurt and the anger as he spoke these words of admittance.
“I may have been complicit in words that I spoke leading up to February 21 ,” Farrakhan tells Shabazz and Mike Wallace. “I acknowledge that and regret that any word that I have said caused the loss of life of a human being.” Blatantly admitting a part in what occurred in the nation of Islam of the jealousy and rederick in that group against Malcolm X that led up to the to the day of his assassination.
Malcolm X daughter at the age of 6 that witnessed the innocent blood shed sat listened and never forgave him during or after the interview.
Malcolm X is and was and still revered as the most influential leader. He shared the same views as Marcus Garvey and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr in Building as tong black institutions and a commitment to peace love and the freedom of racialized minorities
After the Death of Dr. Betty Shabazz SUPPOSEDLY by the hands of her grandson at 12 years old in 1997 which I feel the evidence and records are not accurate with his conviction and no real dangerous or serious crimes were ever done by this young man.
He was. The first Grandson for Malcolm X by his daughter Qubilah Shabazz Malcolm Latif Shabazz (October 8, 1984 – May 9, 2013) was MURDERED in Mexico City on May 9, 2013 at the age of 29 He was THROWN off a roof and died. Not officially robed as put into the mainstream media.
Approximately 200 people attended his funeral in California. One activist stated that Shabazz had plans to construct mosques and schools throughout America. Malcolm had converted to Shi’a Islam and become a spokesman for the “axis of resistance” – not just anti-Zionist forces in the Middle East, but anti-empire forces around the world. Like his grandfather.
Shabazz was survived by his mother, his two daughters, and five aunts. He was buried in Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York, near the graves of his grandparents, Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz.
Unauthorized Biography of Malcolm X
60 Minutes Mike Wallace interview with Shabazz and Farrakhan
Assata Shakur Forum