The Autobiography of Malcolm X is an account of the life of Malcolm X, born Malcolm Little (1925–1965), who became a human rights activist. Beginning with his mother's pregnancy, the book describes Little's childhood in Michigan, the death of his father under questionable circumstances, and his mother's deteriorating mental health that resulted in her commitment to a psychiatric hospital. Little's young adulthood in Boston and New York City is covered, as well as his involvement in organized crime. This led to his arrest and subsequent eight- to ten-year prison sentence, of which he served six-and-a-half years (1946–1952). The book addresses his ministry with Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam (1952–1963) and his emergence as the organization's national spokesman. It documents his disillusionment with and departure from the Nation of Islam in March 1964, his conversion to orthodox Sunni Islam, his pilgrimage to Mecca, and his travels in Africa. Malcolm X was assassinated in New York's Audubon Ballroom in February 1965, before they finished the book. His co-author, journalist Alex Haley, summarizes the last days of Malcolm X's life, and describes in detail their working agreement, including Haley's personal views on his subject, in the Autobiography's epilogue.
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