52 Facts About Malcolm X


Malcolm X spent his adolescence living in a series of foster homes or with relatives after his father's death and his mother's hospitalization.


Malcolm X committed various crimes, being sentenced to 10 years in prison in 1946 for larceny and burglary.


Malcolm X was the public face of the organization for 12 years, advocating Black empowerment and separation of Black and White Americans, and criticizing Martin Luther King Jr.


Malcolm X expressed pride in some of the Nation's social welfare achievements, such as its free drug rehabilitation program.


Malcolm X subsequently embraced Sunni Islam and the civil rights movement after completing the Hajj to Mecca, and became known as "el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz," which roughly translates to "The Pilgrim Malcolm the Patriarch".


Malcolm X was posthumously honored with Malcolm X Day, on which he is commemorated in various cities across the United States.


When Malcolm X was six, his father died in what has been officially ruled a streetcar accident, though his mother Louise believed Earl had been murdered by the Black Legion.


Malcolm X attended West Junior High School in Lansing and then Mason High School in Mason, Michigan, but left high school in 1941, before graduating.


From age 14 to 21, Malcolm X held a variety of jobs while living with his half-sister Ella Little-Collins in Roxbury, a largely African-American neighborhood of Boston.


Malcolm X befriended John Elroy Sanford, a fellow dishwasher at Jimmy's Chicken Shack in Harlem who aspired to be a professional comedian.


In late 1945, Malcolm X returned to Boston, where he and four accomplices committed a series of burglaries targeting wealthy White families.


Two years later, Malcolm X was transferred to Norfolk Prison Colony.


Under Bembry's influence, Malcolm X developed a voracious appetite for reading.


In late 1948, Malcolm X wrote to Elijah Muhammad, the leader of the Nation of Islam.


Malcolm X established temples in Springfield, Massachusetts ; Hartford, Connecticut ; and Atlanta.


Malcolm X met Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, Ahmed Sekou Toure of Guinea, and Kenneth Kaunda of the Zambian African National Congress.


Malcolm X proposed that African Americans should return to Africa and that, in the interim, a separate country for Black people in America should be created.


Malcolm X rejected the civil rights movement's strategy of nonviolence, arguing that Black people should defend and advance themselves "by any means necessary".


Malcolm X's speeches had a powerful effect on his audiences, who were generally African Americans in northern and western cities.


Malcolm X's autobiography contains several antisemitic charges and caricatures of Jews.


Malcolm X believed that the fabricated antisemitic text The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, was authentic and introduced it to NOI members, while blaming Jewish people for "perfecting the modern evil" of neo-colonialism.


Malcolm X was a leading figure in reshaping the Black community's perception of The Holocaust, engaging in Holocaust trivialization and claiming that the Jews "brought it on themselves".


In 1961, Malcolm X spoke at a NOI rally alongside George Lincoln Rockwell, the head of the American Nazi Party.


Malcolm X was largely credited with the group's dramatic increase in membership between the early 1950s and early 1960s.


Malcolm X inspired the boxer Muhammad Ali to join the Nation, and the two became close.


Malcolm X revealed an assassination attempt made on his life, through a discovered explosive device in his car, as well as the death threats he was receiving, in response to his exposure of Elijah Muhammad.


Malcolm X said he was planning to organize a Black nationalist organization to "heighten the political consciousness" of African Americans.


Malcolm X expressed a desire to work with other civil rights leaders, saying that Elijah Muhammad had prevented him from doing so in the past.


Malcolm X was delayed in Jeddah when his US citizenship and inability to speak Arabic caused his status as a Muslim to be questioned.


Malcolm X had received Abdul Rahman Hassan Azzam's book The Eternal Message of Muhammad with his visa approval, and he contacted the author.


Malcolm X especially hated Moise Tshombe of the Congo as an "Uncle Tom" figure.


Tshombe's decision in 1964 to hire White mercenaries to put down the Simba rebellion greatly offended Malcolm X, who accused the mercenaries of committing war crimes against the Congolese.


Malcolm X maintained that there was a double standard when it came to White and Black lives, noting it was an international emergency when the lives of Whites were in danger, making Dragon Rouge necessary, but that nothing was done to stop the abuses of the Congolese at the hands of "Tshombe's hired killers".


Malcolm X only mentioned his religion twice during his Oxford speech, which was part of his effort to defuse his image as an "angry Black Muslim extremist", which he had long hated.


Malcolm X charged that the Cuban emigre pilots hired by the CIA to serve as Tshombe's air force indiscriminately bombed Congolese villages and towns, killing women and children, but this was almost never mentioned in the media while the newspapers featured long accounts of the Simbas "raping White women, molesting nuns".


Malcolm X stated that what he regarded as the extremism of the Tshombe government was "never referred to as extremism because it is endorsed by the West, it is financed by America, it's made respectable by America, and that kind of extremism is never labelled as extremism".


Malcolm X spoke regularly at meetings held by MMI and the OAAU, and was one of the most sought-after speakers on college campuses.


Malcolm X was an eloquent spokesman for his point of view and no one can honestly doubt that Malcolm had a great concern for the problems that we face as a race.


Malcolm X was still turning and growing at the time of his brutal and meaningless assassination.


Malcolm X's philosophy is known almost entirely from the many speeches and interviews he gave from 1952 until his death.


Malcolm X said that the Nation of Islam followed Islam as it was practiced around the world, but the Nation's teachings varied from those of other Muslims because they were adapted to the "uniquely pitiful" condition of Black people in the United States.


Malcolm X taught that Wallace Fard Muhammad, the founder of the Nation, was God incarnate, and that Elijah Muhammad was his Messenger, or Prophet.


Malcolm X rejected the civil rights movement's strategy of nonviolence, advocating instead that Black people should defend themselves.


Malcolm X felt that calling the movement a struggle for civil rights would keep the issue within the United States while changing the focus to human rights would make it an international concern.


Malcolm X said that he and the other members of the OAAU were determined to defend themselves from aggressors, and to secure freedom, justice and equality "by whatever means necessary".


Malcolm X emphasized the "direct connection" between the domestic struggle of African Americans for equal rights with the independence struggles of Third World nations.


Malcolm X said that African Americans were wrong when they thought of themselves as a minority; globally, Black people were the majority.


Malcolm X's family has rejected these allegations about his personal life.


Malcolm X has been described as one of the greatest and most influential African Americans in history.


Malcolm X is credited with raising the self-esteem of Black Americans and reconnecting them with their African heritage.


Malcolm X is largely responsible for the spread of Islam in the Black community in the United States.


The Marvel Comics writer Chris Claremont confirmed that Malcolm X was an inspiration for the X-Men character Magneto, while Martin Luther King was an inspiration for Professor X Malcolm X inspired the character Erik Killmonger in the film Black Panther.