Malcolm X was born in Omaha, Nebraska on May 19, 1925 as Malcolm Little. When Malcolm was a boy, his father was murdered and his home was burned to the ground by the Ku Klux Klan. Malcolm spent time in prison where he educated himself in the classics, various languages and world history, particularly the history of Black people. On his release Malcolm became a Muslim minister and follower of Elijah Muhammad; he later converted to Islam (Sunni), making a pilgrimage to Mecca and travelling throughout the world espousing unity, human rights and self-determination. Malcolm quickly became known as a powerful activist for Black freedom in the U.S. He spoke forcefully against racist oppression in all its forms. While early on he targeted all whites as the enemy, he later came to feel that "some white people are truly sincere and capable of being brotherly toward a Black man."
Perhaps this is when he became too powerful for the "powers that be." One week before his death, Malcolm's house was fire-bombed while he and his family were inside. On February 21, 1965, Malcolm was assassinated. His voice, his message and his spirit live on. "White, black, brown, red, yellow. It doesn't make any difference what color you are. The only thing power respects is power." - Malcolm X