The Autobiography Of Malcolm X

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The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley

Malcolm X or El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz was born on May 19, 1925 in Omaha, Nebraska. He was born to Louise and Earl Little. His father Earl was a Baptist minister and “a dedicated organizer for Marcus Aurelius Garvey 's U.N.I.A. (Universal Negro Improvement Association).” His mother was a domestic worker. In 1929, Malcolm’s family moved to Lansing, Michigan. There, his house was burned down by a white supremacist group. It was then he realized the role of a black man in America and saw the difference between being white and being black. He said, “ Back when I was growing up, the "successful" Lansing Negroes were such as waiters and bootblacks. To be a janitor at some downtown store was to be highly respected. The real "elite," the "big shots," the "voices of the race," were the waiters at the Lansing Country Club and the shoeshine boys at the state capitol. The only Negroes who really had any money were the ones in the numbers racket, or who ran the gambling houses, or who in some other way lived parasitically off the poorest ones, who were the masses. No Negroes were hired then by Lansing 's big Oldsmobile plant, or the Reo plant. (Do you remember the Reo? It was manufactured in Lansing, and R. E. Olds, the man after whom it was named, also lived in Lansing. When the war came along, they hired some Negro janitors.) The bulk of the Negroes were either on Welfare, or W.P.A., or they starved.” When Malcolm was six
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