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Malcolm X was born as Malcolm Little on May 19 1925 in Omaha Nebraska His mother Louis Norton Little was a homemaker occupied with the familys eight children His father Earl Little was an outspoken Baptist minister and avid supporter of Black Nationalist leader Marcus Garvey who is one of the best-known African leaders in the Western Hemisphere Malcolm first got a glimpse of black oppression at a very young age when his fathers mutilated body was found lying across the towns trolley tracks in Lansing Michigan where they were currently staying due to white oppression His mother depressed of her husbands death was taken to a mental institution Leaving school at age 13 Malcolm traveled to New York where he sold drugs and turned to the life of burglary however he was caught in 1946 and was sentenced to 10 years in prison While he was in prison Malcolm was introduced to Islam by a Black Muslim sect headed by Elijah Muhammad and was quickly converted Following his parole in 1952 he soon became an outspoken defender of Muslim doctrines accepting the basic argument that evil was an inherent characteristic of the white mans Christian world He also took the name Malcolm X from now on Unlike Muhammad Malcolm sought publicity making provocative and inflammatory statements to predominantly white civic groups and college campus audiences Branding white people devils he spoke bitterly of a philosophy of vengeance and an eye for an eye When in 1963 he characterized the Kennedy assassination as a case of chickens coming home to roost he was suspended from the Black Muslim movement by Elijah Muhammad Malcolm X formed his own organizations the Organization of Afro-American Unity and the Muslim Mosque Inc In 1964 he made a pilgrimage to Islams holy city Mecca and adopted the name El-Hajj Malik El Shabazz He also adopted views that were not popular with other black nationalists
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