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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Will The Malcolm X Story Be Remade?

(The Wrap-Up Magazine) Archaeologists are digging at a boyhood home of Malcolm X in an effort to uncover more about the slain black rights activist’s early life as well as the property’s long history, which possibly includes Native American settlement.The two-week archaeological dig began Tuesday outside a two-and-a-half story home in Boston’s historically black Roxbury neighborhood that was built in 1874.

Bagley says once the initial rubble is cleared, a ground-penetrating radar survey will be used to determine the best locations to dig. Major excavation work is expected to dig up to four feet into the ground. The site will be open to the public throughout to observe the work.

Rodnell Collins, a nephew of Malcolm X who lived with him in the house, hopes the survey can raise public awareness of his family’s deep roots in Boston. He’s been working for years to renovate the dilapidated structure for public tours and other uses. The house was designated a city landmark in 1998 because it’s the only known dwelling from the outspoken activist’s formative years in Boston still standing.

Born in Omaha, Nebraska, Little had bounced around from foster homes following his father’s death and his mother’s institutionalization for a nervous breakdown. Little-Collins eventually became his legal guardian. But Little rebelled against family life and landed in a Boston prison for burglary charges in his early 20s. There, he became a Nation of Islam follower and dropped his surname in favor of “X” to represent his family’s lost African ancestral name.

A charismatic speaker, Malcolm X quickly became the Detroit-founded Nation of Islam’s principal spokesman during its rapid rise in the 50s and 60s. He founded temples and mosques up and down the eastern seaboard, promoting a message of black nationalism and denouncing white American culture.

@ganstamarcus