Explorations in Black Leadership

Co-Directed by Phyllis Leffler & Julian Bond

Malcolm X (1925–1965)

A prominent leader of the Black Power movement and civil rights activist, Malcolm X, nee Little, grew up in the foster system after his father’s likely murder by white supremacists for his open support of Marcus Garvey. While serving a jail sentence for burglary, he began to study the Nation of Islam and its leader, Elijah Muhammad. After his parole, he changed last name to X to signify his lost tribal name and became a minister and national spokesperson for the Nation of Islam. He oversaw a membership increase from 500 to 30,000 members from 1952 to 1963 and is known for his strong Black Power philosophy. Malcolm X broke from the NOI in 1964 to found his own religious organization, the Muslim Mosque Inc. He was assassinated in 1965 and over 1,500 people attended his funeral.