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Malcolm X: Angel or Demon?
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  • B: A father. A husband. A friend. J: A thief. An adulterer. A criminal. B: A confidante. A spokesman. A beloved leader. J: A manipulator. An extremist. A dangerous man. B: Brutally assassinated. J: Finally silenced.
  • These are the two main views of Malcolm X.
  • J: Before he became Malcolm X, he was born Malcolm Little on May 19, 1925. In 1931, when he was 6, his father was killed when his body was lain across the tracks of a streetcar & he was crushed under its wheels. Many, including Malcolm, believed that it was the work of the Ku Klux Klan or the Black Legion, who had both threatened Mr. Little to leave town on multiple occasions. After the death of her husband, Louise Little slowly went insane, lost custody of her children, and was committed to Kalamazoo’s State Mental Hospital. Later, when Malcolm told one of his teachers that he wanted to become a lawyer, his teacher told him that he should take up carpentry instead because being a lawyer was not a realistic goal for a “n*****”.
  • B: In 1940, Malcolm’s half-sister invites him to visit her in Boston. Malcolm accepts & notices Ella’s strong and independent character while he’s there. The next year, Malcolm moves to Boston to live with his sister & is there exposed to the criminal world. In 1943, he moves to Harlem, where he becomes deeply involved in crime & starts to be known as “Detroit Red”.
  • J: In 1946, Malcolm is convicted of larceny, breaking and entering, and carrying a weapon after going on a “job” with his friend, “Shorty”, his white girlfriend, and two other people. Malcolm and Shorty are sentenced to 8-10 years. In prison, Malcolm reads as many books as he can, starting with the dictionary, in an effort to educate himself. He succeeds. Being influenced by his family and impressed by letters he received from Elijah Muhammad, he converts to the Nation of Islam in 1947.
  • B: After being released from prison in 1952, Malcolm has the privilege of meeting Elijah Muhammad in Chicago. During this visit, he receives the “X” that will stand in for his last name from the Nation of Islam.


  • 1. Malcolm XAngel or Demon?
  • 2. BX (Before the X) 1925  Born May 19 as Malcolm Little in Omaha, Nebraska 1931  Earl Little (father) is run over by a streetcar & killed 1939  Louise Little (mother) is committed to the State Mental Hospital in Kalamazoo  Malcolm is told by a teacher that being a lawyer is not a realistic goal
  • 3. BX (Before the X) 1940  Goes to Boston to visit his half-sister, Ella Collins 1941  Moves to Boston 1943  Moves to Harlem, New York  Known as “Detroit Red”
  • 4. BX (Before the X) 1946  Convicted of larceny, B & E, and carrying a weapon. Sentenced to 8-10 yrs  Begins reading as many books as possible & educating himself 1947  Influenced by family & impressed by letters from Elijah Muhammad, converts to Nation of Islam
  • 5. 1952 Released from prison after 6 yrs instead of 8-10 Meets Elijah Muhammad in Chicago Receives the legendary “X” from the Nation of Islam
  • 6. Malcolm X: The Spike Lee Film Director: Spike Lee Writers:  Alex Haley (book)  Malcolm X (book)  Arnold Perl (screenplay)  Spike Lee (screenplay)
  • 7. Malcolm X: The Spike Lee Film Main Cast:  Denzel Washington – Malcolm X  Angela Bassett – Dr. Betty Shabazz  Al Freeman Jr. – Elijah Muhammad  Spike Lee – Shorty  Lonette McKee – Louise Little  Tommy Hollis – Earl Little
  • 8. Malcolm X: Make It Plain
  • 9. On-Camera Interviews Ossie Davis, Harlem  The Hon. Elijah Muhammad, resident/actor leader, Nation of Islam John Hendrik Clarke, friend/  Betty Shabazz, wife historian  Robert Magnum, Deputy Sonia Sanchez, Harlem Commissioner, NYC Police activist  James Balwin, Peter Goldman, journalist author/activist Alex Haley, biographer  John Ali, National Secretary, Wilfred Little, eldest brother Nation of Islam Yvonne Little, youngest  Attallah Shabazz, daughter sister  Mohmaed Al-Faysal, Prince Ella Collins, half sister of Saudi Arabia
  • 10.  http://www.malcolm-x.org/bio/timeline.htm http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/malcolmx/film