Portrait Of Malcolm XMalcolm Little didn’t show much promise. Smart as a whip, he used his brain as a young man to be a thief, gambler, drug dealer and pimp, a small time Harlem racketeer out of Milwaukee. Of course he was caught and sent to prison, but that’s where his story, and his name, changes, as he grew to be the man who would become one of the most influential voices of the latter 20th Century, and today is his birthday,


In prison Malcolm Little became a voracious reader, and a convert to Islam. Upon his release as Malcolm X in 1952, he became one of the most controversial and original voices in America, an articulate champion of Civil Rights and a staunch defender of Black Separatism as taught by the Nation of Islam’s leader, Elijah Muhammad.

Malcolm X was the man who converted Heavyweight Champion Cassius Clay to Islam, when he became Muhammad Ali.

His world views changed radically after traveling to Arabia and Africa, when he embraced integration and cooperation among races, openly breaking with the Nation of Islam in 1964. He continued his public appearances, calling for racial harmony and equality, making enemies of many, both old foes and former allies.

A year later Malcolm X was dead from 21 gunshot wounds from 3 assassins who struck in the crowded Audubon Ballroom in Manhattan, where he was scheduled to speak. An important voice was silenced, part of an epidemic of political assassinations in the 1960s that stunned the nation and slowed social progress to a crawl.

•Suggested Activities: Questioning everything.

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top