Malcolm X

Malcolm X

Malcolm Little was born in 1925 in Omaha, Nebraska, to Earl Little and Louise Helen (née Norton). He lived briefly at 3448 Pinkney Street in the North Omaha neighborhood. His father was an outspoken Baptist lay speaker and supporter of Marcus Garvey, as well as a member of the Universal Negro Improvement Association.[3] Three of Earl Little's brothers died violently at the hands of white men, and one of his uncles had been lynched.[4]

Earl Little had three children (Ella, Mary, and Earl, Jr.) by a previous marriage before he married Malcolm's mother. From his second marriage he had seven children, of whom Malcolm was the fourth. Earl and Louise Little's children's names were, in order, Wilfred (who was born in Pennsylvania); Hilda, Philbert and Malcolm (who were all born in Nebraska); Reginald (who was born in Wisconsin); and Yvonne and Wesley (who were born in Michigan). Louise had her youngest son, Robert Little, several years after her husband's death by an unnamed partner.

Louise Little was born in Grenada, and Malcolm said she looked like a white woman. Her English father was a white man of whom Malcolm Little knew nothing except what he described as his mother's shame. Little inherited his light complexion from his mother and grandfather. Initially he felt it was a status symbol to be light-skinned, but later he would say that he “hated every drop of that white rapist's blood that is in me.” As Malcolm Little was the lightest child in the family, he felt that his father favored him; however, he thought his mother treated him harshly for the same reason.[5] One of Little's nicknames, "Red," derived from the tinge of his hair. At birth he was described as having, "ash-blonde hair ... tinged with cinnamon", and at four, "reddish-blonde hair". His hair darkened as he aged but he also resembled his paternal grandmother, whose hair "turned reddish in the summer sun".[6]

In The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Little said his mother had been threatened by Ku...

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