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5 Books Every Muslim Should Read On Malcolm X And His Legacy

From his best speeches to detailed biographies to his own autobiography, here are some of the best books you can read to learn and better appreciate the message of Malcolm X.

From his best speeches to detailed biographies to his own autobiography, here are some of the best books you can read to learn and better appreciate the message of Malcolm X.

Born in 1925, Malcolm X was an African-American Muslim civil and human rights activist. Speaking as a representative of the Nation of Islam until 1964, he later adopted a more non-denominational approach to Islam and was a vocal advocate for Muslim representation and civil rights.

Supporting Black Muslim empowerment and the promotion of Islam within black communities across the US, Malcolm X is today remembered for his groundbreaking activism, sincere and genuine understanding and promotion of Islam to the wider public, and his humanity across the board.

Tragically assassinated on the 21st of February, 1965, Malcolm X is still revered as one of the most powerful figures not only in US history but the history of Muslims in the modern age. Known as El Hajj Malik El Shabazz after completing his life-changing hajj pilgrimage, he remains a powerful figure of justice, human rights, and Muslim identity across the world.

In recognition of his life and work, here are just some of the best books to read on the life and legacy of Malcolm X.

1. The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley by Malcolm X and Alex Haley

Malcolm X changed the course of American history – and left a powerful legacy for Black Muslims in the United States to follow even up until today. In this incredibly powerful account, Malcolm X writes of his journey from a prison cell to his pilgrimage to Mecca – and how his conversion to the religion of Islam changed his life forever. This remains a must-read for not only every Muslim around the world, but for any humanist or human rights activist.

You can find this book on Amazon here.

2. Malcolm X: The Last Speeches by Malcolm X and edited by Bruce Perry

What better way to understand Malcolm X than by reading his own words? An incredible compilation of some of Malcolm X’s best and most powerful speeches and interviews from the last two years of his life, this book is essential for all who want to hear what the man spoke of and thought of in his own words.

You can find this book on Amazon here.

3. Blood Brothers: The Fatal Friendship Between Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X by Johnny Smith and Randy Roberts

A fascinating and riveting account of the complicated, beautiful, and powerful friendship between Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali, the boxing champion, this book explores how their friendship started out until it began to deteriorate with far-reaching consequences. Based on never-before-seen sources, personal papers, and FBI records, this book takes us through the lives and relationships of two of the most powerful figures in American history.

You can find this book on Amazon here.

4. Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable

One of the most detailed and thoughtfully researched biographies on Malcolm X, this book, written by American historian Manning Marable, won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for History. With a powerful and seamless ability to weave together both the personal life of Malcolm X alongside the history of the time including a look at the growing racial unrest, the rise of the Ku Klux Klan, the struggles of the civil rights movement, and the story of the Nation of Islam, this book is a must-read for anyone curious about not only the life of Malcolm X but the environment he struggled and triumphed in.

You can find this book on Amazon here.

5. The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X by Les Payne and Tamara Payne

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography, this book was published in 2020 and is a recent addition to the incredible wealth of biographical sources on the life of Malcolm X. What makes this book stand out, however, is the fact that the authors embarked on an almost 30-year quest from 1990 to gather previously unknown sources, conduct interviews, and gather every detail from those who knew him personally to write one of the most detailed and riveting biographies on Malcolm X. This is a masterpiece of storytelling and a beautiful ode to the incredibly complicated and inspiring life of Malcolm X – a must-have on your reading list to better understand who the man really was.

You can find this book on Amazon here.


Let us know either in the comments or by reaching out to us if you know of more books about Malcolm X you think we all should be reading!

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