Malcolm X Biography

Civil Rights activist
Birthplace: Omaha, NE

As a young man, Malcolm Little partook in a life of crime including robbery, prostitution, and narcotics. He was eventually convicted and sentenced to prison for seven years during which time he became a follower of Elijah Muhammad. It was there that he changed his last name to "X." After his parole, he joined the Nation of Islam. As its main spokesperson, he shared his revolutionary political views in the early 1960s. He was opposed to the racist oppression of blacks in America, the U.S. government, and its imperialist policies. Malcolm’s views continued to evolve from anticapitalism to prosocialism. During the last year of his life, Malcolm organized the Muslim Mosque, Inc., as well as a secular political group called the Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU). He spent much of the last year of his life meeting with political leaders in Africa and the Middle East – he also addressed audiences in France and Britain.

Famous Quote: "Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today."

Related Resources

Extended Biography
Malcolm X
Malcolm X was a contrast to Dr. King, because he took a very different approach to the civil rights movement. Read more about their approaches; then, compare and contrast.

Literature Guide

Malcolm Little: The Boy Who Grew Up to Become Malcom X Common Core Curriculum Guide
Download Common Core-aligned discussion questions and activities for a picture book biography of Malcom X, written by his daughter Ilyasah Shabazz. This children's story emphasizes the enduring values and lessons that young Malcolm learned from his parents.

Race Issues in America

Teaching Racism, Prejudice & Discrimination in America
Help your students understand the historical contexts of racism—with references on slavery, immigration, and the civil rights movement—to frame your conversation on modern instances of prejudice.

Web Resources

The Official Site of Malcolm X

Black History Month  Return to the Encyclopedia
of Prominent African Americans

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