Malcolm X Teacher Resources

Malcolm Little, Malcolm X, el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz. The evolution of this Nebraska native from street hustler, to felon, to Muslim minister, to civil rights leader, to human rights activist is indeed a long and winding road.

A good place to begin a study of Malcolm X is with a two-part documentary that details his life, ideas, and role in the civil rights movement.  A unit plan that uses Alex Haley’s Autobiography of Malcolm X as an anchor text also provides an opportunity to learn more about this man who is considered on of the most influential people of the 1945-1960 era.

Although a contemporary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X had a very different vision. After examining primary and secondary source materials, students engage in a writing for understanding activity that asks them to compare the methods King and X felt African Americans should use to achieve equal rights. Another lesson uses clips from a documentary about Grace Lee Boggs to examine the competing strategies used by civil rights leaders in the 1960s. Despite these differences, Malcolm X and Dr. King did find common ground as an examination of primary source materials reveals.

The resources in our collection permit students to examine events that shaped and evolved the beliefs of this powerful, controversial, leader and examine his influence on other leaders. They can also incorporate a more current-times lens through considering how civil rights plays a role in today’s society using this video.

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Malcolm X