Malcolm X was born Malcolm Little on May 19th, 1925 in Omaha, Nebraska. His father, Earl Little, was a Baptist minister and an active member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Malcolm’s mother, Louise Little, was a homemaker. Malcolm had six siblings, but only three survived to adulthood. His family moved to Lansing, Michigan when he was six years old.
In 1931, when Malcolm was six years old, his father was killed by white supremacists. Louise Little was left to raise her children on her own. The family was very poor and Louise had to take in boarders to make ends meet. Malcolm was a bright child and did well in school, but he became a rebellious teenager after his father’s death. In 1941 at the age of sixteen he dropped out of school and moved to Boston where he became involved in petty crime and drug dealing.
In 1946 Malcolm changed his name from Malcolm Little to Malcolm X because it sounded more militant than Little did – something that would help him stand out from other black people who were being oppressed by white people who wanted them enslaved or killed off entirely!