You might know Malcolm X as a Civil Rights activist and leader in the Nation of Islam, but did you know he was born in Omaha, Nebraska?
Malcolm Little was born on May 19th, 1925. His father was a Baptist minister named Earl Little and his mother was Louise Little who stayed at home to raise the children. In 1941, Earl was killed in an alleged streetcar accident which left Louise institutionalized for mental illness and unable to care for her children.
Malcolm and his siblings were sent off to live with various foster families or relatives before eventually ending up back with their mother during her release from the hospital. It was during this time that Malcolm began committing crimes including burglary which led him to spend seven years in prison where he became interested in the Nation of Islam under Elijah Muhammad’s teachings.
After being released from prison, Malcolm X went on to become one of the most prominent leaders of the Nation of Islam until his assassination in 1965 by three members of The Nation of Islam who disagreed with his new direction away from traditional Islamic practices towards more modern ones such as integration into mainstream society through education instead of segregation based on race alone.