An African American leader of Islam was born on May 19, 1925. Malcolm X, whose birth name is Malcolm Little, was born in Omaha, Nebraska. The father of Malcolm X was named James Earl Little. Though the family lived in Omaha, the Klu Klux Klan threatened the family and forced them into Lansing, Michigan. His father was murdered by the Black Legion. Malcolm was stripped from his family by welfare caseworkers. He moved to Boston and became involved many times in criminal activity, moving in and out of jail several times.
Malcolm was arrested once again in 1946 because of a robbery. It became a routine to Malcolm to be in jail, but he never realized the incredible change in his life that was to come. To pass the time he spent in jail, Malcolm X spent countless hours in the prison library, completely memorizing a dictionary verbatim. He attended debate classes due to his interest in increasing his investigation skills. While he was incarcerated, Malcolm encounters the teachings of the leader of the Nation of Islam named Elijah Muhammad. The followers of Muhammad are called Black Muslims. The teachings had a huge impact on Malcolm X which caused him to self-educate and take on the last name X to serve as a symbol for his stolen African identity. X is a common name taken on by members of the nation, usually to get rid of their family name which they believed was started by their slaveholders in the past. HIs brother Reginald, who was jailed in Norfolk County Prison with Malcolm, also influenced him to become part of the Nation. Reginald later became a member with Malcolm in Detroit. Malcolm and his brother became super strong in their faith, giving up things they both enjoyed such as smoking, gambling, and eating pork. He was very prideful in his defending of the African American race and his muslim beliefs. Malcolm X became an important religious leader to the Nation of Islam and was looked up to by many Muslims and African Americans.
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Once Malcolm was released from prison,
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