About Malcolm Little
Malcolm X , born Malcolm Little and also known as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Arabic: الحاجّ مالك الشباز), was an African-American Muslim minister, public speaker, and human rights activist. To his admirers, he was a courageous advocate for the rights of African Americans, a man who indicted white America in the harshest terms for its crimes against black Americans. His detractors accused him of preaching racism, black supremacy, antisemitism, and violence. He has been described as one of the greatest, and most influential, African Americans in history. In 1998, Time named The Autobiography of Malcolm X one of the ten most influential nonfiction books of the 20th century.
Malcolm X was born in Omaha, Nebraska. The events of his childhood, including his father's lessons concerning black pride and self-reliance, and his own experiences concerning race, played a significant role in Malcolm X's adult life. By the time he was thirteen, his father had died and his mother had been committed to a mental hospital. After living in a series of foster homes, Malcolm X became involved in hustling and other criminal activities in Boston and New York. In 1946, Malcolm X was sentenced to eight to ten years in prison.
While in prison, Malcolm X became a member of the Nation of Islam, and after his parole in 1952, he became one of the Nation's leaders and chief spokesmen. For nearly a dozen years, he was the public face of the controversial Islamic group. Tension between Malcolm X and Elijah Muhammad, head of the Nation of Islam, led to Malcolm X's departure from the organization in March 1964. After leaving it, Malcolm X became a Sunni Muslim and made a pilgrimage to Mecca, after which he disavowed racism. He subsequently traveled extensively throughout Africa and the Middle East and then founded Muslim Mosque, Inc., a religious organization, and the secular, Pan-Africanist, Organization of Afro-American Unity. Less than a year after he left the Nation of Islam, Malcolm X was assassinated by three members of the group while giving a speech in New York.