Malcolm would write a letter to the leader of the Nation of Islam, Elijah Muhammad, and asked him how he could join the movement.
In 1950, two years before he would get out of prison, Malcolm Little began signing his letters as Malcolm X. The X was symbolic and meant to express the African name that he did not know due to slaves having them names changed.
At the height of the civil rights movement, Malcolm X and Marthin Luther King Jr. were the leaders of African Americans in the United States.
King preached a non-violence mentality while Malcolm preached the violence of the Nation of Islam.
In the mid-60s, Elijah Muhammad saw Malcolm had become more outspoken than him, and a very powerful voice for the African Americans during the civil rights movement.
Muhammad suspended Malcolm from the Nation of Islam.
Two days before he was killed, Malcolm spoke at an interview in which he stated the Nation of Islam was trying to kill him.
The legacy of Malcolm X has him as one of the most prominent African Americans in history.