Malcolm X, born Malcolm Little, was an American black nationalist leader who advocated for the separation of black and white Americans. He was a vocal critic of the civil rights movement, arguing that its focus on integration was a misguided attempt to assuage white guilt.
Malcolm X was also a member of the Nation of Islam, a black separatist religious group, and he helped to grow its membership during the 1950s and 1960s. He also worked to promote black economic self-sufficiency, and he helped to establish several businesses in the Nation of Islam.
In 1964, Malcolm X made a pilgrimage to Mecca, which led him to renounce his previous views and embrace a more orthodox form of Islam. He changed his name from Malcolm Little to El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz and continued working for black rights after leaving the Nation of Islam in 1964. He was assassinated in 1965.