The Autobiography of Malcolm X

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The Autobiography of Malcolm X
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

for burglary.

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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