Malcolm X’s Michigan childhood home added to National Register of Historic Places

The home is where the civil rights icon reportedly transformed into the principal spokesman for the Nation of Islam.

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Malcolm X‘s childhood home in Inkster, Michigan, has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

The announcement from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation comes three weeks before the 57th anniversary of the assassination of Malcolm X, who was born Malcolm Little in 1925 in Omaha, Nebraska, the Detroit Free Press reports

Muslim minister and activist Malcolm X talking to the press at London Airport, February 1965. (Photo by Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

As a young boy, Malcolm‘s family relocated to several cities before settling in Michigan. As a teenager, he lived in New York and Boston with his sister Ella Little Collins.

“People and places in Michigan played important roles in the civil rights movement of the mid-20th century,” Michigan’s State Historic Preservation Officer Mark Rodman said. “We are honored to join the city of Inkster in celebrating one of those roles with the listing of this home.”

The home is located in the 4300 block of Williams Street in Inkster, and Malcolm X reportedly lived there in 1952 with his family after he left prison in Massachusetts. It was at this home where he is said to have fully transformed into the principal spokesman for the Nation of Islam.

The Associated Press reported, Malcolm joined the Nation of Islam while in prison and quickly became the Detroit-founded organization’s principal spokesman during its rapid rise in the 1950s and 1960s, establishing temples and mosques across the country.

“No physical move in my life has been more pivotal or profound in its repercussions,” he wrote in his autobiography about his time in Boston. “All praise is due to Allah that I went to Boston when I did. If I hadn’t, I’d probably still be a brainwashed black Christian.”

Malcolm eventually left the Nation of Islam and was gunned down at age 39 by loyalists of the religious and political organization while giving a speech in New York City.

Inkster resident Aaron Sims spearheaded the effort to save Malcolm X’s once-abandoned Michigan home when it was listed on the city’s demolition list. The goal is to transform it into a museum highlighting Malcolm’s life and work, according to the report.

“We are working hard toward rehabilitating and renovating the Malcolm X house, with the goal of transforming the home into a museum that will showcase Malcolm’s life history, with special focus on his human and civil rights activism, as well as his relationship to the city of Inkster, which he referenced in one of his final speeches,” said Sims, executive director of Project We Hope, Dream & Believe.

Last year, Malcolm X’s boyhood home in Boston was added to the National Register of Historic Places. 

Per The Associated Press, the 2 ½-story house is the only surviving residence associated with Malcolm X’s formative years in the city, according to Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin, who chairs the state historical commission that requested the designation.

The home was originally built in 1874, and was designated a city landmark in 1998.

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