Malcolm X was one of the most influential leader of the Black Civil Rights Movement. Here is the list of ten unknown facts about Malcolm X.
- As a child, his family was so underprivileged that on one occasion he said that “our family was so poor that we would eat the hole out of a doughnut.”
- The little family consists of seven children and one parent Louise. Sometimes his mother would manage to get a job in town, cleaning and sewing for a white family. His mother was so light skinned that she could be taken for white, but when Louise’s employers would find out that she was not only black but also the widow of the Black Nationalist Earl Little they would fire her.
- At the age of 15, he was dropped out of school. Later in 1946, he started selling drugs and eventually got ten years in prison for burglary.
- To pass the time during his imprisonment, Malcolm started reading a book from the jail library, as he also wanted to make up for dropping out of school at the age of fifteen. It was during this time that he was intrigued by Elijah Muhammad, the leader of Nation of Islam.
- During his time in prison, he converted from his Baptist upbringing to Nation of Islam.
- After he had been released from the jail, he changed his last name from Little to X. He has explained in his autobiography that little has been replaced by X, as little was forced upon his ancestors by white owners as a sign of slavery and “X” symbolizes his true, unknown African family name.
- He married Betty Shabazz in 1958, also a civil rights activist. They had six daughters including two twins who were born after his death.
- He left Nation of Islam in 1964 when he because disillusioned with the leader Elijah Muhammad. After his pilgrimage to Mecca, he changed his views completely and converted to Sunni Islam. He changed his name from Malcolm X to El-Hajj Malik El Shabazz.
- Now he started criticizing Elijah Muhammad for his “Religious Fakery” prompting the Nation of Islam to take revengeful actions against him.
- On 21 Feb 1965, Malcolm was about to deliver his speech in Audubon Ballroom, but three assassins jumped at the stage and shot Malcolm fifteen times at point blank range. He was shot at his chin, chest, fingers, and legs. He was taken to the New York’s Columbia Presbyterian Hospital but pronounced dead shortly after his arrival. All three assassins were members of Nation of Islam, and they were sentenced to a lifetime in prison.