Malcolm in Mason

After Malcolm X’s mother was sent to the Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital, his family was separated which affected his performance and behavior in school. Seeing his family torn apart and his mother slowly lose her sanity changed Malcolm. He began to resent the hegemonic social order that was set before him, and he rebelled against all things that tried to box him up. As Malcolm’s behavioral record worsened the state decided to send Malcolm to a state detention home in Mason, Michigan. During Malcolm’s time in Mason he lived in the detention home, worked within the area for Leo Kelly and Dr. Gertrude Sullivan, and attended school at Mason High School. Throughout his time between these sites Malcolm got a small scale picture of the world at large. He witnessed what a disadvantage he was at in life, and he was determined to argue that reality with his actions. Whether those actions were legal or illegal, we see the beginnings of Malcolm's “By any means necessary” mindset developing. All of Malcolm’s initial behavioral problems, and rebellious attitude began with these three sites and they only grew and continued to shape Malcolm throughout his life.

Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital

The Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital. This hospital was founded in 1859 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. It was originally called the Michigan Asylum for the Insane however the name was changed shortly thereafter. Plans for the insane asylum began in 1848 and…

The Swerlins and Michigan State Detention Home

Malcolm X was sent to a Detention Home in 1939, in Mason, Michigan after he was expelled from his middle school, West Junior High School, because he put a thumbtack on his teacher’s chair. The detention home was run by a couple, Mr. and Mrs. Swerlin.…

Mason High School

Although brief, the two years Malcolm Little spent at Mason High School were extremely influential to his perspective on race relations as his experience, especially his multiple confrontations with white supremacy, shaped his convictions and…

Work Site: Leo Kelly

While Malcolm X was living in Mason, Michigan he found some job opportunities. One job that he had was working for Leo Kelly when he was living in different foster homes. There was not any information found as to what Malcolm’s job exactly was for…

Work Site: Dr. Gertrude O'Sullivan

One person that Malcolm X worked for in Mason, Michigan, was Dr. Gertrude O'Sullivan (http://brothermalcolm.net/mxtimeline.html). Malcolm was a chauffeur and houseman for Dr. Sullivan. There was not much information for when he started and stopped…