Work Site: Coral Gables

A hot spot for MSU students in the 1940's-1960's, where Malcolm X worked for a brief time as a young adult.

When Malcolm X worked for Coral Gables in the 1940s, it had turned into a place for big bands to be showcased. It was called the “Coral Gables Ballroom” and it attracted well-known bands and musicians. At this time, it was the closest place to the MSU campus to serve alcohol, making it a very popular place for students (Coral Gables History). For a young Malcolm X, working here could have been quite exciting. The excitement of the dancing and the music would have very much appealed to him. However, given that this occurred after his visit to Boston, it could have also been a very sour experience to watch all the young white students enjoy privilege they were not aware they had. In Boston, Malcolm finally felt like he was a part of the African American community and wished to be more involved with this group of people. He had gone to church with his sister Ella while there, and finally felt a connection and sense of belonging with people outside of his family. Returning and experiencing this environment may have left Malcolm X feeling like more of an outsider after finally feeling a sense of belonging.



2838 E Grand River Ave, East Lansing, MI 48823