Malcolm X

American human rights activist (1925-1965)

El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Arabic: ٱلْحَاجّ مَالِك ٱلشَّبَازّ‎, romanized: al-Ḥājj Mālik ash-Shabāzz, May 19, 1925 – February 21, 1965) also known as Malcolm X was an African American nationalist and civil rights activist. Before he became Malcolm X, his original name was Malcolm Stuart Little. Malcolm X's father was a Baptist minister whose skin was very dark, whilst his mother's skin was of a much lighter tone. His parents taught him to be proud of being black in an openly anti-black society. Malcolm X's father died when Malcolm was only six years old, leaving his mother in poverty.

Malcolm X
A 38-year-old man in a suit and tie smiles broadly. He wears glasses and has a microphone around his neck.
Malcolm X in March 1964
Malcolm Little

(1925-05-19)May 19, 1925
DiedFebruary 21, 1965(1965-02-21) (aged 39)
Cause of deathAssassination (gunshot wounds)
Resting placeFerncliff Cemetery
Other namesel-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz (الحاجّ مالك الشباز)
Occupation(s)Minister, activist
Organization(s)Nation of Islam, Muslim Mosque, Inc., Organization of Afro-American Unity
Height6 ft 3 in (191 cm)
MovementBlack nationalism,
SpouseBetty Shabazz (m. 1958)
ChildrenAttallah Shabazz
Qubilah Shabazz
Ilyasah Shabazz
Gamilah Lumumba Shabazz
Malikah Shabazz
Malaak Shabazz
Parent(s)Earl Little,
Louise Helen Norton Little

In 1946, Malcolm was arrested at the age of 20 for armed robbery, but was released from jail 8 years later. He was introduced to the Nation of Islam and Islam while he was in jail, joining the Nation after he was released.[1]



At first, Malcolm X's actions and speeches were mostly inspired by the beliefs and teachings of the Nation of Islam. He taught that all white people were bad. Once he learned that the leader of the Nation of Islam was in relationships with many women, he quit the group and changed his religion to Sunni Islam. He went on a pilgrimage to see the Islamic holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. At this point, his opinions of white people got better, and he began to believe that white people could be good people, too. Malcolm X believed that black people should fight for their civil rights in any way they could, even if they had to become violent. He also thought that black people should support one another by shopping in stores owned by black people. He was critical of the civil rights movement.

Personal life


Malcolm X had six children with Betty Shabazz. He had six grandchildren. Malcolm Shabazz was killed in May 2013. He also has two great-grandchildren.

On February 21, 1965, Malcolm X was shot multiple times in New York City after preaching about black rights. Three members of the Nation of Islam had a part in his murder.


  1. McGill, Sarah (August 2017). Malcolm X. OCLC 1002008441.

Further reading