TIMELINE OF MALCOLM X: Biography
Malcolm X: His Life and Legacy (Documentary)
1923- Earl and Louise Little move with their three small children to Omaha, Nebraska, 3448 Pinkney Street.
1924- The Ku Klux Klansmen warned Louise, then pregnant with Malcolm, to get her family out of town, because her husband was stirring up trouble in the black community with UNIA (Universal Negro Improvement Association) back to Africa preaching. They were activist supporters of Marcus Garveys black-nationalist organization the Universal Negro Improvement Association. Reverend Little helped organize the UNIA.
1925- Malcolm Little is born at University Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska.
1926- The Little family moves to Milwaukee, Wisconsin after threats by night riders.
1928- The Little family purchased a home in Lansing, Michigan, and less than two years later the house was destroyed by fire.
1931- Earl Little was found dead in 1931, most likely the victim of racist violence. Malcolm was sent to Boston, then to New York City, where he committed burglary. While serving a six and one-half year prison sentence, he became self-educated and converted to an American sect of Islam.
1939- Malcolm mother struggled to keep the family together, she was institutionalized in a state mental hospital, where she would remain for a quarter century.
1941- Malcolms half-sister on his fathers side, Ella Collins, brought the teenager to her home in Boston, Massachusetts.
1946- Known on the streets as Big Red and Detroit Red he entered the underground economy of the ghetto, running numbers and selling liquor and illegal drugs. Malcolm
Little was arrested and charge with grand larceny and breaking and entering. He was sentenced to prison in Charlestown, Massachusetts, and would live behind bars until his release six and a half years later.
1947 - At the Concord Reformatory prison, in Massachusetts, to which he had been transferred. He was introduced to a black-nationalist Islamic sect, the Nation of Islam,
during a visit by his younger brother, Reginald. Malcolm joined the sect and began a frequent correspondence with its leader, Elijah Muhammad, formerly Robert Poole.
1952- Paroled from prison, he took the surname X, which stood for the lost true name of his African ancestors.
1953- He lived briefly in the home of Elijah Muhammad, and quickly rose in the hierarchy of the sect. He was named minister of the newly established Boston Temple No. 11 in the fall of that year and became the minister of New Yorks Temple No. 7 in June 1954. He initiated and directed the development of new temples in many cities and established a national newspaper, Muhammad Speaks.
1956- Malcolm X met Betty Sanders, a new convert who had joined Temple No. 7. Calling her from a gas station telephone in Detroit in early January 1958, his proposal of marriage to her. Two days later the two were married by a white Justice of the Peace in Lansing, Michigan. The newlyweds moved into a small two-family flat in the borough of Queens, New York and over the next seven years they had six daughters, Attalah, Qubilah, Ilyasah, Gamilah, Malaak and Malikah.
1958- Malcolm took the name Malcolm X (El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz), studied under Elijah Muhammad, and became outspoken about mistreatment of blacks in the United
1959- He began reaching out to mainstream civil rights leaders and black elected officials, such as the Harlem congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., in an effort to
build a national black united front. A television documentary on the Nation of Islam, with the provocative title The Hate That Hate Produced brought the sect into
national prominence. That same year Malcolm X visited Egypt, Iran, Syria, Ghana, Nigeria and Sudan. The early 1960′s he was actively involved in protesting police
brutality against â€œBlack Muslim, the name the media gave
members of the Nation.
1960- He met with Fidel Castro during the Cuban’s visit to the United Nations. He also led a demonstration at the United Nations to denounce the killing of the prime minister of the Congo, Patrice Lumumba.
1961-1963 He became a sought-after campus speaker, lecturing at Harvard Law School in March and many other institutions. His high profile brought him under intense surveillance by Federal Bureau of Investigation and other law enforcement
agencies and fed hostility and resentment among Nation of Islam leaders close to Elijah Muhammad, who feared that Malcolm X had grown too powerful to control.
1963- When President John F. Kennedys was assassinated in November, Malcolm X remarked to the media that the Chief Executives murder was a case of the chickens coming home to roost, symbolizing white Americas tendency to violence and hatred. Elijah Muhammad use the publiccontroversy as an excuse for expelling his powerful
soldier from the Nation of Islam. Malcolm X was first ordered to submit to a 90-day period of silence. That same month, he called a press conference and resigned from
1964- His Autobiography of Malcolm X was published in 1964. Leaving the United States during a pilgrimage to Mecca in April 13, he converted to Orthodox Islam. He abandoned concepts of racial antagonism and counseled the need for human brotherhood and international cooperation. Malcolm X formed the Organization of Afro-American Unity in 1964 and became renowned as an articulate spokesperson for human rights. Like Frederick Douglass, Malcolm X was known as one of the most outstanding orators of his day.
1965- In early February the former black separatist traveled to Alabama to address and encourage young activists involved in a voting right campaign. He tried to meet with King during this trip, but the civil rights leader was in jail; instead Malcolm met with Coretta Scott King, telling her that he did not intend to make life more difficult
for her husband. If white people realize what the alternative is, perhaps they will willing to hear Dr. King Malcolm X was assassinated February 21, 1965, in New York City at the Audubon Ballroom in Manhattan at the age of 39, he had been a prominent public figure for less than a decade.
1970- Dr. Betty Shabazz commented about her husbands journey to Mecca, and his return to the Unites States a little over a month later as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz:
“When [Malcolm] returned he has a new perspective. Part
of it, I think, was the human experience of seeing people
from different countries functioning together because of a
common philosophy . . . . Malcolms basic goal or
objective never changed: He was totally committed to
freedom for oppressed people . . . Malcolms [new]
feeling was that if a group has an answer to the problems
of black people, than they should help solve the problems
without having all black people join that group. In this
sense his scope had been broadened.”