(1925-65) an African American leader, born Malcolm Little. He joined the Black Muslims in 1952, changed his 'slave name' to Malcolm X and became their leader in 1963. Their aim was to create a separate African-American nation, and he encouraged them to defend themselves in violent ways. In 1964, however, he left the Black Muslims to establish the Organization of Afro-American Unity, declaring that he was in favour of peace between the races. He was murdered, probably by Black Muslims, in Harlem. He wrote The Autobiography of Malcolm X (1964), and 'Spike' Lee directed a film, Malcolm X (1992), with Denzel Washington in the main role.