Lincoln, NE – (9/12/2022) – The Nebraska Hall of Fame Commission today selected Malcolm Little, also known as Malcolm X and El Hajj Malik El Shabazz, as the next member of the Nebraska Hall of Fame.
Ron Hull, chair of the Nebraska Hall of Fame Committee said that Malcolm X’s impact is still felt today. “Malcolm X used the lessons he learned early in life and his intellectual power, dedication and perseverance in the fight for freedom and equality for all during the Civil Rights Movement in America. His work and his legacy continue to impact the citizens of the world.”
To be eligible, the person must have been born in Nebraska, gained prominence while living in Nebraska, or whose residence in Nebraska was an important influence on their lives and contributed to their greatness. In addition, the inductee can only be considered 35 years after their death.
Malcolm X was one of three finalists chosen in August for consideration, joining Louise Pound and Howard Hanson in the final vote today.
Malcolm X was born Malcolm Little at University Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska, May 19, 1925. He was the son of Earl and Louise Little, 3448 Pinkney Street. Reverend Little helped organize the Universal Negro Improvement Association. After threats by night riders, the family moved to Milwaukee and later to Michigan, where Reverend Little allegedly was murdered. During his mother’s illness, Malcolm was sent to Boston, then to New York, where he committed burglary. While serving a six and one-half year prison sentence, he became self-educated and converted to an American sect of Islam.
After leaving prison, Malcolm took the name Malcolm X, studied under Elijah Muhammad, and became outspoken about mistreatment of Blacks. His Autobiography of Malcolm X was published in 1964. During a pilgrimage to Mecca, he converted to orthodox Islam. He abandoned concepts of racial antagonism and counseled the need for human brotherhood and international cooperation. Malcolm X formed the Organization of Afro-American Unity in 1964 and became renowned as an articulate spokesperson for human rights. Malcolm X was assassinated on February 21, 1965, in New York City.
With the selection, the commission will now begin the process of creating the Sculptor Selection Committee. The committee will select the sculptor of the bust that will be displayed at the Nebraska State Capitol. A ‘call to artists’ will be issued later this fall.