X File

A landmark in black history you never knew was here

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ew Bostonians know that civil rights activist Malcolm X grew up here. Malcolm Little, later to be known as Malcolm X, was raised by his sister, human rights activist Ella Little-Collins, in the house at 72 Dale St. in Roxbury beginning in 1940. Little held jobs in Boston as a soda jerk, a busboy at the Parker House hotel, and, eventually as a burglar; it was that line of work that landed him in 1946 in Charlestown Prison and Norfolk Prison Colony, where he joined the Nation of Islam. He returned to his sister’s house after he was paroled in 1953, and founded Mosque Number 11 of the Nation of Islam at 10 Washington St. in Dorchester in 1954. His sister’s home is privately owned today by other relatives, but it has been declared an historical landmark and there’s a commemorative marker at the site. Arpie

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Malcolm X was not the only revolutionary to work in Boston’s Parker House hotel. Ho Chi Minh was once a busboy there.

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