Civil rights leader Malcolm X’s impact and influence will reverberate for generations to come and an element of his legacy will be preserved and protected. According to The New York Times, his childhood home in Boston has been added to the National Register of Historic Places.
The home—which was constructed nearly 147 years ago—is located in the Roxbury neighborhood. Malcolm X, who resided there with his older sister Ella Little Collins during the early 1940s, spent his teenage years in the house. He moved in before his 16th birthday and stayed at the residence over the span of nearly four years. The physical space holds significance as it gives a glimpse into the formative years of the man who would go on to become a revolutionary civil rights pioneer.
Following Malcolm X’s assassination in 1965, his sister did not return to the house but her family maintained ownership of the home throughout the decades. In 1998 the home was deemed a city landmark by the Boston Landmarks Commission and there are still elements of the structure that remain the same. Being a part of the National Historic Register provides the property’s current owners with the opportunity to receive federal grants and investment tax credits. The effort to have the home included on the National Historic Register was supported by Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin.
News about Malcolm X’s childhood home comes as there have been several efforts to protect places that are embedded in the fabric of American history. In February, the National Trust unveiled the HBCU Cultural Heritage Stewardship; a $650,000 initiative designed to preserve structures on the campuses of historically Black colleges and universities.
“They stand as a living testament to African American history and the ongoing achievements of highly influential Americans. But they continue to be overlooked and underfunded,” Brent Leggs, Executive Director of the National Trust’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, said in a statement. “The starting point is to equip HBCUs with the resources, knowledge and information they need to invest in their historic assets.”