1925–65, militant black leader in the United States, also known as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, b. Malcolm Little in Omaha, Neb. A petty criminal in Boston and Harlem, he was convicted of burglary (1946) and sent to prison, where he read widely and was introduced to the Black MuslimsBlack Muslims, African-American religious movement in the United States, split since the late 1970s into the American Society of Muslims and the Nation of Islam. The original group was founded (1930) in Detroit by Wali Farad (or W. D. .....Click the link for more information., joining the group and becoming a Muslim minister upon his release in 1952. A charismatic and eloquent spokesman for the doctrines of black nationalism and black separatism, he quickly became very prominent, establishing many new temples in the North, Midwest, and California, and acquiring a following perhaps equaling that of the movement's leader, Elijah MuhammadMuhammad, Elijah, 1897–1975, American black-nationalist and religious leader, b. near Sandersville, Ga. Originally named Elijah Poole, he left home at 16 and worked at various jobs. In 1923 he settled in Detroit and became an automobile assembly-line worker. .....Click the link for more information.. In 1963 Malcolm was suspended by Muhammad after a speech in which Malcolm suggested that President Kennedy's assassination was a matter of the "chickens coming home to roost." He then formed a rival organization of his own, the Muslim Mosque, Inc. In 1964, after a pilgrimage to Mecca, he announced his conversion to orthodox Sunni Islam and his new belief that there could be brotherhood between black and white. In his Organization of Afro-American Unity, formed after his return, the tone was still that of militant black nationalism but no longer of separation. In Feb., 1965, he was shot and killed in a public auditorium in New York City. His assassins were vaguely identified as Black Muslims, but this remains a matter of controversy.
See his autobiography (as told to A. Haley, 1964) and selected speeches, Malcolm X Speaks (1965); J. H. Clarke, ed., Malcolm X (1969); biographies by P. Goldman (1973, repr. 2013), B. Perry (1992), and M. Marable (2011); studies by M. E. Dyson (1994), J. L. Conyers et al., ed. (2008), and R. Roberts and J. Smith (2016); R. E. Terrill, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Malcolm X (2010).
see Malcolm XMalcolm X, 1925–65, militant black leader in the United States, also known as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, b. Malcolm Little in Omaha, Neb. A petty criminal in Boston and Harlem, he was convicted of burglary (1946) and sent to prison, where he read widely and was introduced .....Click the link for more information..
original name Malcolm Little. 1925--65, US Black civil-rights leader: assassinated
Malcolm X (b. Malcolm Little)
(1925–65) African-American activist; born in Omaha, Nebr. Malcolm claimed his father, a minister and follower of Marcus Garvey, was murdered by racists in Lansing, Mich. (1931) (but at least one researcher claims his father died accidentally). Moving to Boston, Malcolm turned to pimping and drugs as a teenager. He was sentenced to ten years in prison for burglary (1946) where he discovered the antiwhite Black Muslims. Joining the Muslims (1952), he became a recruiter, changed his name, and came to national attention with his writings and through a television documentary (1959), both of which tended to portray him as a threat to white people. Breaking with the Muslims (1964), he founded the Muslim Mosque in an effort to internationalize the Afro-American struggle and journeyed to Muslim lands abroad where he was impressed with their lack of racial bias. Returning to the U.S.A. convinced that whites were not inherently racist, he called himself El-Hajj Malik El Shabazz and formed the Organization of African American Unity, hoping to cooperate with progressive white groups. Before his assassination in the Audubon Ballroom in New York City (March 1965), he came to believe that leaders of the Nation of Islam and powerful elements within the U.S. government wanted him dead; the only legal trial put all the blame on members of the Nation of Islam. Alex Haley helped immortalize him as coauthor of The Autobiography of Malcolm X (1965), and Spike Lee's 1992 film renewed interest in the man and his message. He proved as powerful after his death as alive, influencing disparate movements with his positions on black power and neocolonialism, and transforming the consciousness of a generation of African-Americans.