By Alex Haley
On May 19, 1925 Malcolm Little was born in Omaha, Nebraska. His father was a
Preacher who spoke out about the unity of black people. Which caused several white
racists to strike out against Malcolm's father and his family violently. His family moved
to Lansing, Michigan where Malcolm, his parents, brothers, and sisters were shot at,
burned out of their home, harassed, and threatened. When Malcolm was 6 years old, his
father was murdered by a white man. After his father's death his mother had a nervous
breakdown and the family got split up by welfare agencies.
Malcolm was placed in a lot of different schools and boardinghouses. He was a
good student and wanted to be a lawyer someday, but a teacher told him that because he
was black he should take up carpentry instead. At age 15 he dropped out of school and
moved to Boston to live with a relative. To get money he shined shoes, worked at a soda
fountain, worked at a restaurant and on a railroad kitchen crew. Later he moved to the
black Harlem section of New York City where he sold drugs, became a thief, and was
involved with a lot of hoodlums and pimps. He moved back to Boston and got arrested
While he was in prison he learned about the Nation of Islam and later joined the
Islamic religion. He was released from prison in 1952 and went to be with his brother in
Detroit where he replaced his last name, Little, with X to symbolize his lost true African
family name. The Islamic religion taught that white people were devils so Malcolm went
around speaking out against whites at universities and other places. He returned to New
York and became minister of the Harlem temple. For 12 years he preached that the white
man was the devil and Muhammad was God's messenger.
In 1964 he left the Nation of Islam and said "I feel like a man who has been
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