Beauty & Race: did Malcolm X have actually Red-Colored Hair? was He A organic Redhead, Or Did the Dye His Hair?

AS A teenager MALCOLM X, aka 'Detroit Red', took pleasure in having right hair, yet later came to hate its herbal red color — or rather, the Scottish ancestry in his background that developed it. By Ben Nov. 20, 2020.

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AMERICAN beauty beauty X: Did african American civil legal rights leader Malcolm X have red hair? that inherited a organic reddish color from his white Scottish grandfather. X, nicknamed Detroit Red ~ above account that his hair color, to be 15 when he straightened his hair and also got his very first 'conk' — the well-known African American hairstyle of the era.

AFRICAN AMERICAN CIVIL civil liberties leader Malcolm X was born Malcolm little on might 19, 1925, in Omaha Nebraska. He to be the fourth of seven children. His father, Reverend Earl Little, to be an african American Baptist minister indigenous Reynolds, Georgia. He was an imposing figure — six-feet-four and with one eye. His mother, Louise Little, was born in Grenada in the brothers West Indies. She background was an extremely different from her husband's. She was an educated woman of blended heritage. She father was white, and so she was light-skinned. She “looked choose a white woman”, Malcolm recalled in his autobiography. “She had straight black color hair, and also her accent did no sound prefer a Negro’s”. Although Malcolm’s dad was an extremely dark-skinned, that inherited lot of his mom complexion. His skin was the lightest of all 7 children. Together a result, as a son he believed that he was treated better by his father, and escaped numerous of the routine beatings suffered by his siblings.


Malcolm likewise inherited a reddish color, in both his skin-tone and also hair, from his white grandfather’s side, which later on earned the the nickname “Detroit Red”. The civil rights leader's mother’s partial white family tree was a sore point within the family. She had never met her father, and was embarrassing of her link to him. Malcolm himself came to resent the hereditary legacy that had awarded the his irradiate skin and also red hair. “I learned to hate every fall of the white rapist’s blood that is in me,” the said.


In 1920s America, a new hairstyle known as the “conk” swept through the afri American community. Afro hair was chemically straightened with a home-mixed recipe called congalene – a caustic sauce made from lye, potatoes and also raw eggs. The thick cream to be combed with the hair and also left on for numerous minutes to take effect. The process was regularly painful, together the cream reacted v the scalp, leading to a strong burning sensation, as depicted in the famed scene native the Spike Lee movie, Malcolm X. The substance was then shampooed out, leave the hair permanently straight, v a built-in lacquered sheen. It was then greased and also styled.

The conk craze caught on v African American celebrities across the country. Malcolm got his very first “process” in Boston in 1940, in ~ the tender age of 15, throughout his days together a petty criminal: “the transformation, after a life time of kinks, is staggering”, that recalled.

MALCOLM X's background ON GOOGLE

This component of Malcolm X's legacy remains a popular part of today's internet searches about the former civil legal rights leader. Google, that collect and also publish monthly worldwide search figures, report the currently, about 550 web users form the words, “Detroit Red Malcolm X” into their browsers each month, if a additional 2,000 Google the terms, “Did Malcolm X have actually red hair?”, and “Malcolm X conk”.


With the awakening of his political consciousness, X, who likewise went by his Muslim name, El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, was scathing about the days as soon as he wore the conk hairstyle. “This to be my first really large step towards self-degradation: when I endured all that pain, literally burn my flesh with lye, in stimulate to chef my natural hair till it was limp, to have it look prefer a white masculine hair. I had actually joined the multitude of negro men and women in America who room brainwashed into believing the black human being are ‘inferior’ – and white civilization ‘superior.’”

Malcolm X’s hair revisionism to be subsumed right into his manifesto of black color self-determination and also civil rights, i beg your pardon peaked in the 1960s. African Americans, influenced by the cultural mandates that ‘Black is beautiful’ and ‘Black power’, all of sudden rejected your processed hairstyles, and for a while at least, Afro hair took centre stage.



Hi there. I am a London-based author and publisher, specialising in fiction, non-fiction and online journalism. Discover much more about me and also my recent projects, in ~ Ben bio.



FAMILY BACKGROUND: Civil rights leader Malcolm X's parents, Louise and Earl Little. His mommy was the part-Scottish ancestry, i m sorry Malcolm involved hate, and which accounted because that his red hair color. BOYHOOD: Malcolm X as a young boy.



The variety of people global who Google the phrase, “Detroit Red Malcolm X” every month.


The variety of people an international who Google the terms, “Did Malcolm X have red color hair?”, and “Malcolm X conk”each month.

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*All figures for “Malcolm X’s Red Hair shade - according to Google Search”, gave by Google. Stats include worldwide totals because that laptop and desktop computers and mobile devices.