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The Prophet Malcolm X Shabazz

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Malcolm X Biography

Religious Figure / Civil Rights Figure

Photos ( See all 4 )

Name at birth: Malcolm Little

While in prison for burglary, Malcolm Little adopted the Black Muslim faith and became a minister of the Nation of Islam upon his release in 1952. As Malcolm X, he was a charismatic advocate of black separatism who rejected Martin Luther King, Jr.'s policies of non-violence. At first a follower of Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X broke with the Nation of Islam in 1964. That same year he made a pilgrimage to Mecca and shortly afterwards he embraced orthodox Islam and took the name El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz. He recanted some of his earlier more strident viewpoints on race, though he remained a staunch advocate of "black power." He was shot to death by a group of men while giving a speech in New York City in 1965; some of the men had connections to the Nation of Islam, though a formal tie between that group and the assassination was never proven.

Extra credit: The Autobiography of Malcolm X was published after his death in 1965 and became a best-seller; the book was co-written by Alex Haley, later the author of Roots... X's widow, Betty Shabazz, died on 23 June 1997 after being severely burned in an apartment fire set by her 12-year-old grandson... Actor Denzel Washington played Malcolm X in the 1992 Spike Lee movie X.

Malcolm X appears with Harriet Tubman and Louis Armstrong in our loop on Black History.

Blog posts mentioning Malcolm X:

Four Good Links

Encarta: Malcolm X

Encyclopedia biography of the man, with links to related topics

The Official Site of Malcolm X

From the celebrity management group CMG Worldwide

Malcolm X: A Research Site

Detailed pro-Malcolm site from the University of Toledo

The Assassination of Malcolm X

The Crime Library tells the sad tale in detail

Vital Stats


19 May 1925


Omaha, Nebraska


21 February 1965
assassination, age 39)

Best Known As

Assassinated leader of the 1960s black power movement

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