Malcolm X, el-Hajj Malik el- Shabazz Home

23-11 97th Street, Malcolm X Place

Malcolm X, civil rights leader and former figurehead of the Nation of Islam, lived in this bungalow with his family from 1959 to 1965. Born Malcolm Little in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1925, by the 1940s he was living in Boston, where he was arrested for robbery and sent to prison. During his incarceration, Little was introduced to the religious and political movement known as the Nation of Islam (NOI), and corresponded regularly with its leader Elijah Muhammad. Before his release in 1952, Malcolm joined the NOI and changed his name to “Malcolm X”. In 1960, Malcolm established Nation of Islam Temple 7B at 105-01 Northern Boulevard, just blocks from the original Langston Hughes Community Library and Cultural Center. It is now the Masjid Nuriddin & Clara Muhammad School. In March of 1964, Malcolm X publicly announced his break from the NOI, and in April, flew to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, at the start of his Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca). He thereafter became known as el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz. Upon his return he expressed that seeing Muslims of all races and backgrounds interacting as equals led him to see Islam as a means by which racial problems could be overcome. After his break with the organization, the NOI began eviction proceedings to remove Malcolm X and his family from the house on 97th Street, although Malcolm Little was the signature on the deed. On February 14, 1965, the home was set ablaze by Molotov cocktails. The family escaped the fire and was given refuge by neighborhood residents. One week later, on February 21, 1965, Malcolm was assassinated while making a speech at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem. Malcolm X’s presence is still felt in the community and he is a revered local figure. In 2005, the street in front of the house was renamed Malcolm X Place.