Ella Little Collins (1914 - 1996)

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES (taken from Seventh Child: A Family Memoir of Malcolm X, by Rodnell Collins (1998), son of Ella Collins


p 50

"Ma's resourcefulness and determination were strengths that she brought to Boston from Reynolds in the 1930's, strengths that she had gotten from Pa John and Ella Little, her grandparents."

p 50

"...good jobs - in fact, any jobs - were hard to come by in Boston, so she moved to New York City, where she was hired as a floorwalker for a department store."

p 51

"She moved on to Everett, Massachusetts, outside Boston, to live with her mother, Daisy Mason, and her brother Earl Little Jr."

p 51

"Ma met Lloyd Oxley, a physician at Boston City Hospital. Ma said one of his main attractions to her was his support of the political, economic, and cultural positions promoted by Marcus Garvey. Soon he became her first husband."

p 52

"On June 28, 1934 Dr. Oxley and Ma divorced. On February 16, 1945, Dr. Oxley along with Dr. Frank Butler, delivered me. By that time, Ma was married to her third husband, Kenneth J. Collins."

p 53

"Ma credits her business acumen to Grandma Daisy. 'When my mother left Reynolds for Boston, she had absolutely nothing but her will and determination. When she died in 1972, she had money in the bank and a third share of two hundred acres of valuable land."

p 87

"Ma joined....Ma reminded Malcolm that she was joining the N.O.I. solely because of him, adding that along with her other reservation, she was still upset with the way it had treated their brother Reginald."

p 95

"Whenever Malcolm spoke...with Ma present, he would ask her upon concluding, 'How did I do, Ella?'"


p 96

"One of the things that Ma liked most about Betty, Malcolm's wife, was that after they were married, she did her best to see that Uncle Malcolm ate right and got sufficient rest. Ma knew from experience that this was not an easy task."

p 187

"The money Betty had, mostly coming from the autobiography advance, was needed to take care of basic expenses for her and the children. There was none for funeral expenses. Ma agreed to take care of those. While in Boston, Ma., in a February 25 press conference, announced that at Malcolm's request she would now head the MMI and the OAAU and that she would pay off his debts. She followed through on that pronouncement."

p 200

"...Ma still had her memories of, and insights into, her brother - information that a diverse cast of characters sought to get from her. From 1965 up until her death from the effect of diabetes and two leg amputations in 1996, she received innumerable requests for interviews, comments, and observations."

African Progenitor


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