Robert W. Woodruff Library
Emory University
Atlanta Georgia 30322

SPECIAL COLLECTIONS DEARTMENT

X, Ma1co1m 1925-1965

Malcolm X collection, 1941-1955
Manuscript Collection No.827

EXTENT:

Shelving units:
Linear feet:

2 boxes
.5 linear ft.

SOURCE:

Deposit, 1999 with subsequent additions

ACCESS:

Unrestricted access

REPRODUCTION:

No reproduction

COPYRIGHT:

Written permission from the owner and copyright holder will be required for publication.

CITATION:

[identification of item(s)], Malcolm X collection, Special Collections Department, Robert W. Woodruff Library, Emory University.

PROCESSING:

Susan Potts McDonald, August 4, 1999
Control level 3
File: MalcolmX823.doc

 

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

Malcolm X, (1925-1965) named Malcolm Little at birth, was born to Earl and Louise Little on May 19, 1925, in Omaha Nebraska. At an early age he lost his father and, when his mother was hospitalized, he lived with guardians and family members in Michigan and Massachusetts for the rest of his youth. He quit school prior to the ninth grade and worked. As a young man, he became involved in many illicit activities including burglary, gambling, and drug use. In 1946 he was imprisoned for burglary and, in prison, converted to Islam. When he left prison in 1952, he went to work for Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam rising quickly through the ranks and became the primary public voice for the Nation of Islam and received national attention as their representative. After taking a trip to Mecca in 1964, Malcolm X decided to split from Elijah Muhammad and began speaking for himself rather than on behalf of Muhammad and the Nation of Islam. He was assassinated the next year on February 21, 1965

 

SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE

This collection consists of correspondence, printed material, photographs/portraits, business related records, school related materials, and objects relating to Malcolm X from 1941-1955. The correspondence includes letters written by Malcolm X to family and friends (1941-1955); letters to Malcolm (1940-1942) mostly from friends and family relations during his early teens; and some family correspondence (1942). Of particular interest in the correspondence are three letters that he wrote while in prison, in which he related the importance of Islam in his life and provides an introspective look at like in prison.

The printed material consists mostly of materials created by the Organization for Afro-American Unity. The school-related material includes assignments and handouts from the 8th grade and "opinion books" wherein his classmates wrote opinions of their school and of other classmates. The photographs include two images of Malcolm and silhouettes of his half-sister, Ella, and a young woman named Ruth. The objects include jewelry and a wooden plaque and necklace containing the emblem of the Organization for Afro-American Unity. There is also a sheet of Malcolm X commemorative collector stamps (1999) in this collection.

CONTAINER LIST

CORRESPONDENCE
Malcolm X - Outgoing

Box

ITEM

1

1

Malcolm Little to Mary Jane Smith, ALS, 4 pages, Roxbury, Mass., [1941?]
Tells Smith about his recent activities and plans, remembers their friendship.

1

2

Malcolm Little to Eloise Schack, ALS, 4 pages, Roxbury, Mass., 17 January 1941
Tells Schack about his future travel plans and mentions that he worked as a "prop boy" for Count Basie last year.

1

3

Malcolm Little to Zelma Holman, ALS, 4 pages, Roxbury, Mass., 18 November 1941
Tells Holman about his recent activities and plans, including job at a dance hall.

1

4

Malcolm Little to Ella Little Collins (half-sister), ALS, 4 pages, [Charleston State Prison] Charleston, Mass., 14 December 1946
Gives Collins Christmas gift requests, tells her about activities in prison.

1

5

Malcolm Little to Ella Little Collins, ALS, 4 pages to Ella Collins, [Concord Prison] Mass., 28 March, 1948
Introspective letter about his experiences in prison, request for birthday gift, discusses Jackie Robinson and the Brooklyn Dodgers.

1

6

Malcolm X to Raymond, ALS, 8 pages, [Norfolk Prison Colony, Mass.] 18 March 1950
Discusses the importance of Islam in his life, talks about his father and mother as well as old friends, and life in prison

1

7

Malcolm X to Elijah Muhammad, ALS, 1 page, East Elmhurst, NY, 4 September 1955
Updates Muhammad about activities in local temples, sends money from the temples

1

8

Malcolm to Reginald Little (brother), PS (Postcard Signed) 1 page, New York, NY, n.d.
Hopes to see Reginald Little soon

1

9

Malcolm to Ruth McGuire, PS, 1 page, Roxbury, Mass., n.d.
Requests that McGuire write

1

10

Malcolm to Ruth Bailey, PS, 1 page, Boston, Mass., n.d.
Writes that he will write a letter soon

1

11

Malcolm to John Carter, NS, 1 page, unknown location, 10 February, [?]
Arranges to give Carter tickets

CORRESPONDENCE
Malcolm X - Incoming

1

12

Johnson, Ella (half-sister) to Malcolm Little, ALS, 3 pages, Boston, Mass., 9 February 1940
Mentions Malcolm's plans to become a boxer

1

13

Johnson, Ella (half-sister) to Malcolm Little, ALS, 4 pages, Boston, Mass., 4 April 1940
Writes of her desire for Malcolm to come to Boston as soon as school is closed

1

14

Johnson, Ella (half-sister) to Malcolm Little, ALS, 4 pages, Boston, Mass., 19 June 1940
Writes to Malcolm about Grandfather's death

1

15

Lewis, Barbara to Malcolm Little, ALS, 5 pages (2 letters sent together), Jackson, Michigan, September and October 1940
Old school friend writes about social activities in Jackson, Mich.

1

16

Hoyt, Christine to Malcolm Little, ALS, 2 pages, Mason, Mich., 7 February 1941
Updates Malcolm on school events in Mason, Mich.

1

17

Hawryleiw[?], Peter to Malcolm Little, PS, 1 page, East Lansing, Mich., 2 March 1941
Updates Malcolm regarding basketball team in Mason, Mich.

1

18

Little, Philbert [brother] to Malcolm Little, ALS, 1 page, Lansing, Mich., 6 March 1941
Asks questions regarding his brothers activities and chides Malcolm to write more clearly in his next letter

1

19

Lewis, Barbara to Malcolm Little, ALS, 3 pages, Jackson, Mich., 20 March 1941
Updates Malcolm on social events in Jackson, Mich.

1

20

Little Reginald to Malcolm Little, ALS, 3 pages, Lansing, Mich., 22 March 1941
Writes about girls, whether Malcolm is going to school, and family

1

21

Lillian to Malcolm Little, ALS, 4 pages, Danbury, Conn., 6 May 1941
Writes about their last meeting and events in her life

1

22

Little, Philbert to Malcolm Little, ALS, 2 pages, Lansing, Mich., 12 May 1941
Thanks Malcolm for card, explains why he can't visit

1

23

Lillian to Malcolm Little, ALS, 4 pages, Danbury, Conn., 14 May 1941
Discusses arrangements to meet and happenings in her life

1

24

Little, Philbert to Malcolm Little, Telegram, Lansing, Mich., 19 May 1941
Happy Birthday greetings

1

25

Strother, Gloria to Malcolm Little, ALS, 3 pages, Boston, Mass., 2 October 1941
Discusses events in her life

1

26

Matthews, Eleanor L. to Malcolm Little, ALS, 3 pages, Boston, Mass., 9 October 1941
Mentions Malcolm working and her social life

1

27

Matthews, Eleanor L. to Malcolm Little, ALS, 4 pages, Roxbury, Mass., 21 October 1941
Discusses relationship between Malcolm and Gloria [Strother]

1

28

Johnson, Ella to Malcolm Little, ALS, 2 pages, Boston, Mass., 22 October 1941
Newsy letter discusses moving into new house with 9 rooms

1

29

Strother, Gloria to Malcolm Little, ALS, 5 pages, Boston, Mass., 29 October 1941
Mentions accident that Malcolm was in and her social life

1

30

Roberta Jo to Malcolm Little, ALS, 3 pages, Kalamazoo, Mich., 2 November 1941
Tries to arrange meeting with Malcolm

1

31

Robertson, Edyth to Malcolm Little, PCS, 1 page, Boston, Mass., 6 November 1941
Promises to write soon and asks Malcolm to write

1

32

Roberta Jo to Malcolm Little, ALS, 2 pages, Kalamazoo, Mich., 20 January 1942
Concerned that Malcolm is not writing her

1

33

Purcelle, David to Malcolm Little, PC, 1 page, Boston, Mass., 5 February 1942
Invited to a party

1

34

Strother, Gloria to Malcolm Little, ALS, 4 pages, Roxbury, Mass., 2 June 1942
Expresses her feelings for Malcolm and discusses social life in Boston

1

35

Haines, Catherine to Malcolm Little, ALS, 2 pages, Martha's Vineyard, Mass., 25 June 1942
Discusses her boredom at Martha's Vineyard

1

36

Charlotte, ALS, 3 pages to Malcolm Little, Jackson, Mich., 30 June 1942
Writes about her hopes to visit Malcolm

1

37

Little, Reginald, ALS, 2 pages to Malcolm Little, Michigan City, Ind., 13 July 1942
Reginald discusses a fight that he got into and asks for money

1

38

Little, Hilda [sister] to Malcolm Little, ALS, 3 pages, Lansing, Mich., 14 July 1942
Mentions Malcolm working on a train and his travels and asks for money and pair of pants

1

39

Little, Sara A. [aunt] to Malcolm Little, CS, 1 page, unknown, n.d.
Birthday Greeting Card

1

40

Johnson, Ella to Malcolm Little, ALS, 2 pages, unknown, n.d.
Trying to get in touch with Malcolm to send him an airline ticket

FAMILY CORRESPONDENCE

1

41

Little, Hilda to Reginald Little, ALS, 3 pages Lansing, Mich., 27 April 1942

1

42

Little, Hilda to Reginald Little, ALS, 6 pages Lansing, Mich., 2 May 1942

1

43

Little, Hilda to Reginald Little, ALS, 4 pages Lansing, Mich., 24 June 1942

1

44

Little, Hilda to Reginald Little, ALS, 5 pages Lansing, Mich., 19 July 1942

1

45

Austin, Thelma to Jessie Austin, ALS, 1 page, Lansing, Mich., 20 September 1942

1

46

Johnson, Ella to Reginald Little, TLS, 1 page, Roxbury, Mass., 22 September 1942

PERSONAL BUSINESS RECORDS

1

47

Neeley Clothing Company, Bill, 6 March 1941
Personal note and owes $23.25

1

48

Wohlmuth Co., Notice, 13 February 1942
Clothing is ready to be picked up

1

49

O.K. Tailoring Co., Receipt, 24 March 1942
Order received and owes $28.45

1

50

Empire Credit Clothing Co., Bill, 14 July 1942
Owes $25

1

51

Boyle Brothers Collection Service, Notice, n.d.
Threatening court action against Malcolm, if he does not call

1

52

Boyle Brothers Collection Service, Notice, n.d.
Threatening court action against Malcolm, if he does not pay

1

53

Dining Car Employees Union, Bill, n.d.
Owes $5 in Union Dues

SCHOOL RELATED MATERIALS

1

54

Opinion Book, Mason, Mich., ca. 1939
Book with questions for 8th grade classmates on a variety of issues, includes Malcolm's responses and signature

1

55

Opinion Book, Mason, Mich., ca. 1939
Book with questions for 8th grade classmates on a variety of issues, includes Malcolm's responses and signature

1

56

Handout, "Occupations," n.d.

1

57

Assignment, "Business Training," n.d.
Signed, received a 44 on assignment

1

58

Answers to exam, "Business Training," 17 December 1941

1

59

Answers to exam, "Business Training," n.d.

1

60

Assignment, "Career Chart," n.d.
Lists career hopes and plans

1

61

School assignment, letter to Buick Car Sales, 28 May 1940
Letter requesting prices

PRINTED MATERIAL

1

62

Malcolm X Educational Center

1

63

Malcolm X Day, Organization of Afro-American Unity, broadsides, 3 items

1

64

Malcolm X Day, Organization of Afro-American Unity, Souvenir journal, 1967

1

65

"Minister Malcolm X Still Lives," Black Youth Internationale, news release, n.d.

1

66

Marcus Aurelius Garvey commemoration day, broadsides, 2 items

1

67

Organization of Afro-American Unity, 2 items

PHOTOGRAPHS / SILHOUETTES

1

68

Malcolm X, ca. 16-18 years old

1

69

Malcolm X, ca. 24-28 years old

1

70

Silhouettes of Ella Johnson, 2 items

1

71

Silhouette of Ruth, 1 item

MISCELLANEOUS

1

72

U.S. Postal Service stamps, Malcolm X, 1999, 1 sheet

1

73

Empty envelopes

OBJECTS

2

1

1920-1940s picture frame that held large format photograph of Malcolm X

2

2

Wooden shellacked plaque of Organization of Afro-American Unity, picture of Malcolm and organization's emblem, carved by Willie C. Starrs, June 1968

2

3

Wooden and leather necklace, titled "By Any Means Necessary," depicting African mask and emblem of the Organization of Afro-American Unity

2

4

Jeweler's box of cuff links, tie tacks, studs, bracelet and heart shaped locket. Money clips, collar stays, belonging to Malcolm X, 24 pieces

2

5

Leather ammunition belt with seven bullets

All questions and expressions of interest about the collection should be sent to

Laura Micham, Research Services Archivist,
Special Collections Department at
lmicham@emory.edu or to
speccollref@emory.edu

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