Malcom X lived in Milwaukee's Bronzeville area
Malik el-Shabazz, commonly recognized as Malcolm X, was born on May 19th, 1925 in Omaha, Nebraska, with the given name of Malcolm Little. His father was a prominent member of Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), and when Malcolm was a child, his family endured conflicts and harassment from white supremacist groups. In December 1926, Malcolm’s family moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where his younger brother Reginald was born. The family lived on West Galena Street on Milwaukee’s North Side. The family lived in Milwaukee until 1929 and then relocated to Lansing, Michigan. Years later in Milwaukee, the area was cleared for freeway construction.
Malcolm X would go on to be one of the most recognized individuals during the Civil Rights era. He is often described as one of the greatest and most influential African Americans in history. Malcolm X gained notoriety from his powerful speeches after joining the Nation of Islam, a religious group. It is argued that his brother Reginald, a Milwaukee native, had a strong influence on Malcolm X’s decision to join the NOI. Malcolm X would use his sharpened oratory skills to deliver messages of strength and unity to African Americans during the Civil Rights era, heavily influencing oppressed people nationally and globally. In 1964 he founded the Organization of Afro-American Unity with a mission to internationalize the plight of African Americans. The organization had a Pan-African approach, connecting with people of the developing world, moving from civil rights to a human rights agenda. Although assassinated in 1965, Malcolm X’s life story and teachings have continued to influence activists, educators, and organizers.
Harambee Community School, located on 110 W. Burleigh Street from the late 1960s to the mid-2000s, named its performance/reception area Malcolm X Hall and celebrated May 19th as Malcolm X Day. Robert Fulton Jr. High School in the was renamed Malcolm X Academy in 1993, when it was turned into an African American immersion school. Malcolm X’s legacy continues to influence communities in Milwaukee.