Malcolm Little (later X and then El Hajj Malik el Shabazz) was around 15-years old when he first visited his half-sister Ella Collins in Boston, Massachusetts. When he moved in with her the following year, he was introduced to the world that would transform him into a street hustler named “Red.” That home in the Roxbury area is now listed as an endangered historic place by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, reports the Los Angeles Times.
The Malcolm X-Ella Little-Collins House in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood dates to 1874 and has deteriorated due to water leaks. Malcolm X was a black nationalist in the Nation of Islam until a trip to Mecca changed his views on race and religion.
The trust, which relies on private contributions, hopes to assist in raising $750,000 to revamp the building into living quarters for graduate students studying civil rights or social justice.
Rehabilitating the Malcolm X house into housing for students studying black history “is both an appropriate tribute to Malcolm X’s life, and an innovative model for dynamic new uses of historic sites across the country,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Malcolm’s nephew, Rodnell Collins agrees:
“This would be great for the family and for Malcolm’s legacy,’’ said Collins, 67. “Malcolm believed in education.’’
Sweet Auburn, the historic Atlanta area where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was raised — and the home of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference — is also listed as endangered. The area was a thriving segregated area for black Americans during Jim Crow and some locals still call it “the real Atlanta.”
The Philadelphia gym where heavyweight boxing champ Joe Frazier trained for his historic battle against “The Greatest” Muhammad Ali, is also at risk. It is now a discount drug store and there has been “no official historic designation on the local or national level.”
Read the complete list at the Los Angeles Times.