Listen to Malcom X at about 7:00 mins in the CBC interview in 1965. He was assassinated in Feb 1965 by Nation of Islam members. (PBS Documentary)
Malcolm X born Malcolm Little excelled in junior high school but dropped out after a
white teacher told him that practicing law, his aspiration at the time,
was "no realistic goal for a nigger". It made
Malcolm feel that the white world offered no place for a career-oriented black man, regardless of his talent.
After a short time in Flint, Michigan, Little moved to Harlem, New York, in 1943, where he engaged in drug dealing, gambling, racketeering, robbery, and pimping; according to recent biographies, he also occasionally had sex with other men, usually for money. He was called "Detroit Red" because of the reddish hair he inherited from his Scottish maternal grandfather. Little was declared "mentally disqualified for military service" after he told draft board officials he was eager to "steal us some guns, and kill us [some] crackers".
During Little's imprisonment several of his siblings wrote to him about the Nation of Islam, a relatively new religious movement preaching black self-reliance and, ultimately, unification of the African diaspora, free from white American and European domination.
He showed scant interest at first, but after his brother Reginald wrote
in 1948, "Malcolm, don't eat any more pork and don't smoke any more
cigarettes. I'll show you how to get out of prison," he quit smoking and began to refuse pork.
After a visit in which Reginald described the group's teachings,
including the belief that white people are devils, Little came to the
conclusion that every relationship he'd had with whites had been tainted
by dishonesty, injustice, greed, and hatred. Little, whose hostility to religion had earned him the prison nickname "Satan", began to reconsider his dismissal of all religion and he became receptive to the message of the Nation of Islam.