Malcolm X’s boyhood home in Boston gets historic designation

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FILE - In this March 29, 2016, file photo, signs call attention to the house where slain African-American leader Malcolm X spent part of his childhood in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston. According to the National Park Service the house was added to the National Register of Historic Places in February 2021. (AP Photo/Bill Sikes, File)

BOSTON – Malcolm X’s boyhood home in Boston was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

The 2 ½-story house is the only surviving residence associated with the slain civil rights leader’s formative years in the city, according to Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin, who chairs the state historical commission that requested the designation.

The home, which was originally built in 1874 and designated a city landmark in 1998, was officially listed on the federal register last month, the National Park Service that oversees the listing said this week.

The former Malcolm Little was a teenager in the 1940s when he came to live with his sister, Ella Little Collins.

Rodnell Collins, Little Collins’ son, said this week that the family, which still owns the home, is hoping to turn it into a residence for graduate students studying Black history and civil rights, as well as open it up for special events and public tours at certain times of the year.

He said the national listing opens up access to tax incentives and other government programs for historical preservation to help make that dream possible.

Little Collins, who was a civil rights organizer in her own right, became her brother’s legal guardian after his father died and his mother was institutionalized.

Malcolm Little joined the Nation of Islam while in prison in Massachusetts and quickly became the Detroit-founded organization’s principal spokesman during its rapid rise in the 1950s and 1960s, establishing temples and mosques across the country.