Malcolm X - Lourdes University

By Robin Crawford
(Malcolm Little) Born May 19, 1925
Father: (Earl Little) A Baptist minister who followed the
teachings of Marcus Garvey. A very tall dark skinned man
who was killed by whites when Malcolm was six.
Mother: (Louise Little) Was the produce of a rape by an
unknown white man. She could pass for a white woman and
was very ashamed of how she was conceived.
Growing up Malcolm Little
• Malcolm Little grew up knowing what oppression and
discrimination were first hand. “The mark of this grandfather
was visited on Malcolm, of eight children he stood apart with
his reddish brown color” (Goodheart, 1990, pg. 2).
-His mother “favored her dark skin children and disparaged
Malcolm’s lighter color as an unwanted reminder of her white
rapist father” (Goodheart, 1990, pg. 3). She would often tell
him to let the sun shine on you so you can get some color.
-His father saw Malcolm’s complexion as a blessing in the
spirit of the adage that “white is right; if you’re brown, stick
around; but if you’re black step back” (Goodheart, 1990.
At six years old Malcolm’s father is killed
Mother becomes depressed and is committed to a mental institution
He and his siblings become orphans and wards of the state
Malcolm goes to live with a white couple
Malcolm makes a lot of accomplishments in school and was well
liked by his white classmates as long as he “played the role of
mascot, as long as he did not aspire to be equal to whites”
(LaMothe, 2011, pg.542).
Seventh grade teacher Mr. Ostrowski kills Malcolm’s dreams of
becoming a lawyer. He tells Malcolm “We all here like you, you
know that. But you’ve got to be realistic about being a nigger. A
lawyer—that’s no realistic goal for a nigger” (Goodheart, 1990,
Between the ages of 14 to 21 Malcolm would travel to different
cities and work various jobs.
“During his late teenage years, he immersed himself in the hustling
subculture of the Roxbury and Harlem ghettos where the lanky
Malcolm was called Big Red” (Goodheart, 1990, pg. 4).
He dated white women to validate himself as equal to any white
As Big Red he engaged in selling drugs , gambling, pimping and
Big Red is arrested and sentenced to 8 to 10 years in Charlestown
State Prison.
While in prison he is introduced to the teachings of Elijah
He becomes a black Muslim , joins the Nation of Islam and
becomes Malcolm X.
In Malcolm’s eyes “Elijah Muhammad served as a father
figure, a mentor, a guide and a coach, providing Malcolm X
with a deepening sense of self-worth” (LaMothe, 2011,
He believed white people were devils who kept blacks from
having political, economic and social success
Blacks show have a state separate from whites
Malcolm becomes minister of the NOI’s mosque in Boston, Philadelphia
and New York
He founded the NOI newspaper in 1957
During the 1960’s Malcolm was asked to participate in several debates on
radio, television programs and universities.
New York Times reported that Malcolm X was the second most sought
after speaker in the United States in 1963.
Malcolm lead one of the nations larges civil rights events June 29, 1963
called the Unity Rally in Harlem
As minister of the NOI Malcolm helped increase the membership from 400
to 40,000 members
“The Hate that Hate Produced”
Malcolm’s comments about President Kennedy cause a public out cry
His remarks angers Elijah Muhammad and Malcolm is prohibited from
speaking in public for 90 days.
Malcolm becomes a favorite of the media and resentment spreads in the
NOI by members who felt the Malcolm was getting more attention than
Malcolm is deeply hurt when he discovers that his mentor Muhammad has
violated his own teachings
Malcolm leaves the NOI and founded the Muslim Mosque, Inc., and the
Organization of Afro-American Unity
Malcolm has an epiphany while in Mecca
He learns the true meaning of brotherhood
He converts to Islam
Changes his name from Malcolm X to El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz
Malcolm starts getting death threats from NOI,
Malcolm’s home under surveillance by FBI
Malcolm’s home is firebombed February 14, 1965
Malcolm X aka El-Hajj-Malik El- Shabazz left behind
(Wife) Betty Shabazz
(Six daughters) Attallah, Qubilah, Iiyasah ,Gamilah, (twins) Malikah
and Malaak
May 19, 1924-February 21, 1965
Goodheart, L. B.(1990). The odeyssey of malcolm x. An eriksonian
interpretation. Historian, 53 (1), 47-62.
LaMothe, R (2011). Political humiliation and conversion. Pastoral
Psychology, 60 (4), 537-549. doi: 10.1007/s11089-010-0303-x
Lord, L., & Thornton, J. (1992). The legacy of malcolm x. U.S.
News & World Report, 113(20), 76.

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