Malcolm X


African-American Civil Rights Leader

The masculinity of Malcolm X (El Hajj Malik El-Shabazz) is central to his importance within the black community. Malcolm's appeal and continuing legacy stems from his performance and articulation of a vision of black masculinity grounded in black militancy and self-defense.

Malcolm X was born Malcolm Little in Omaha, Nebraska. After white supremacists killed his father and his mother's health deteriorated due to mental illness, Malcolm spent most of his childhood in various foster homes. While in prison for burglary, he joined the Nation of Islam (NOI), a black Muslim group that asserted black pride and embraced Islam as the true religion of nonwhite peoples. When he was released from prison in 1952, Malcolm became a minister, and eventually the national spokesman, for ...

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