Malcolm X Day – May 19, 2023

Malcolm X Day is observed on May 19 every year in the United States. It is used to show appreciation for Malcolm X, who was a civil rights leader. He was an African American Muslim minister who was a vocal advocate for black empowerment. He championed the promotion of Islam within the black community. Malcolm X is also known to be credited with raising the self-esteem of black Americans since he reconnected the people with their African heritage. The holiday serves to appreciate and celebrate the works he did in his time and the impact he had on society.

History of Malcolm X Day

Malcolm X Day takes place every year in the United States on May 19. It is a holiday that is used to bring light to the contributions the civil rights leader made to society. The day has been an official holiday in the municipality of Berkeley, California since 1979, with city offices and schools being closed. It has been an official state holiday in the state of Illinois since 2015, and it has also been observed in Missouri since 2019. Malcolm X was known to enjoy organizing, leading, and preaching. He was the first preacher of the Nation of Islam after the founder of the group and became the official spokesperson of the movement. He was able to increase the number of people involved in the movement from 500 people in 1952 to 30,000 people in 1963 but eventually left the movement. He went to Saudi Arabia to make the Hajj.

He was greatly impacted by his pilgrimage to Mecca. He wrote a letter to his wife and friends about the welcome and sincere brotherhood he experienced. He said that what he saw in the ancient holy land pushed him to rearrange most of the thinking patterns that he had lived in. He was ready to throw out most of his previous conclusions and embrace a new way of life.

Malcolm X was killed in 1965 while he was speaking at an Organization of Afro-American Unity (O.A.A.U.) rally in Harlem. The three people convicted of the crime were members of the Nation of Islam, and the assailant who was apprehended at the scene was Talmadge Hayer. The man did insist that his two co-defendants were innocent.

Malcolm X Day timeline

1925
Malcolm X is Born

Malcolm Little is born in Omaha, Nebraska as the fourth of Earl and Louise Little's seven children.

1947
Malcolm X Studies in Prison

A fellow convict convinces Malcolm to study and develop his mind.

1951
Malcolm Doesn’t Get Parole

Malcolm X is denied parole by the parole board.

1965
Malcolm X is Killed

Malcolm X is killed in Harlem while he is speaking at an O.A.A.U. rally.

Malcolm X Day FAQs

How long was Malcolm X in prison?

Malcolm X was in jail for six and a half years.

What was Malcolm X’s motto?

You can say his motto was “By any means necessary.”

What was Malcolm X's most famous speech?

Probably “The Ballot or the Bullet,” a speech delivered in April 1964.

How to Observe Malcolm X Day

  1. Learn about Malcolm X

    You can learn more about Malcolm X. You’ll get a better understanding of his impact on the world.

  2. Listen to his speeches

    You can listen to some speeches given by Malcolm X. You’ll see why so many people rallied around him.

  3. Share the holiday

    Take part in the holiday by sharing it with the people around you. You can share it either online or in person.

5 Interesting Facts About Malcolm X

  1. His home was burned down

    Malcolm X’s home was burned down by white supremacists.

  2. He went to prison

    Malcolm X was sent to prison after being accused of stealing a watch.

  3. He found Islam in prison

    Malcolm X turned to the Nation of Islam while he was in prison.

  4. He opposed Dr. King

    Malcolm X is known to have been an opposing force of Dr. Martin Luther King.

  5. He received death threats

    Malcolm X received death threats repeatedly.

Why Malcolm X Day is Important

  1. It encourages free speech

    Malcolm X is an inspiration for free speech. People can learn from him and his history.

  2. It appreciates his work

    The holiday helps to bring light to the work he did in his time. Try looking into it for some inspiration as to what you can do in your community.

  3. It empowers people

    Malcolm X was a pioneer in empowering people and helping them gain self-esteem. His work was important at the time and it remains relevant today.

Malcolm X Day dates

YearDateDay
2023May 19Friday
2024May 19Sunday
2025May 19Monday
2026May 19Tuesday
2027May 19Wednesday

Holidays Straight to Your Inbox

Every day is a holiday!
Receive fresh holidays directly to your inbox.