African American Muslim minister who was a human rights activist and major vocalist for black and African American empowerment as well as an advocate for Islam. 

Reading Materials

By Any Means Necessary (Malcom X Speeches, Interviews, and a Letter)


We declare our right on this earth to be a man, to be a human being, to be respected as a human being, to be given the rights of a human being in this society, on this earth, in this day, which we intend to bring into existence by any means necessary.

–  Malcolm X, 1965

Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention

Summary: This biography of Malcolm X draws on new research to trace his life from his troubled youth through his involvement in the Nation of Islam, his activism in the world of Black Nationalism, and his assassination. Years in the making, it is a definitive biography of the legendary black activist. Of the great figures in twentieth-century American history perhaps none is more complex and controversial than Malcolm X. Constantly rewriting his own story, he became a criminal, a minister, a leader, and an icon, all before being felled by assassins’ bullets at age thirty-nine. Through his tireless work and countless speeches he empowered hundreds of thousands of black Americans to create better lives and stronger communities while establishing the template for the self-actualized, independent African American man. In death he became a broad symbol of both resistance and reconciliation for millions around the world.

Malcolm X Speaks: Selected Speeches and Statements

Summary: Writings and orations of Malcolm X written and given throughout his life. Contains primary source materials.

The Autobiography of Malcolm X

Summary: An autobiography of Malcolm X who rose from a life of crime to become the most dynamic leader of the civil rights movement.

The Victims of Democracy: Malcolm X and the Black Revolution

Summary: An examination of the diverse political, psychological, and economic factors that shaped Malcolm’s life as a black man and ultimately led to him leading the Black liberation movement. The book consists of five chapters, each of which examines a major era in Malcolm X’s life.

Making Malcolm: The Myth and Meaning of Malcolm X

Summary: In Making Malcolm, Michael Eric Dyson probes the myths and meanings of Malcolm X for our time. From Spike Lee’s film biography to Eugene Wolfenstein’s psychobiographical study, from hip-hop culture to gender and racial politics, Dyson cuts a critical swathe through both the idolization and the vicious caricatures that have undermined appreciation of Malcolm’s greatest accomplishments.

Malcolm X: A Fire Burning Brightly

Summary: Malcolm X lived by the idea that Black people should demand equality by taking their lives and futures into their own hands. With guidance from the religious leader Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm became one of the most powerful leaders of the Civil Rights movement during the 1950s and 1960s, and his beliefs live on today.


Malcolm X (1992)

Summary: Born Malcolm Little, his minister father was killed by the Ku Klux Klan. He became a gangster, and while in jail discovered the Nation of Islam writings of Elijah Muhammad. After getting out of jail, he preaches the teachings, but later on goes on a pilgrimage to the city of Mecca. There he converts to the original Islamic religion and becomes a Sunni Muslim. He changes his name to El-Hajj Malik Al-Shabazz and stops his anti-white teachings, having discovered the error of his mistakes. He is later assassinated and dies a Muslim martyr. Directed by Spike Lee.

Brother Minister: The Assassination of Malcolm X (1994)

Summary: Brother Minister reveals the mystery surrounding the assassination of Malcolm X at the Audubon Ballroom in New York City on February 21, 1965. It probes the innocence of two of the convicted assassins, reveals the true identity of the killers, examines the FBI and NYPD clandestine roles in the assassination, and discovers the secret origin of the Nation of Islam and its political and religious legacy in America. Directed by Jefri Aalmuhammed and Jack Baxter.

We want your feedback!

Subscribe to Our Newsletter!