By Kelley Waterfall
The Mason Times
Famous human rights activist Malcolm X, otherwise known as Malcolm Little, passed away on Feb. 21, 1965. This past weekend was the 50th anniversary of his death.
It was a special time for not only the nation but for the town of Mason. Malcolm X spent part of his childhood years living in the city of Mason.
Marlon Brown, mayor pro tem of Mason, says Malcolm had a variety of Michigan roots ranging from Detroit to Lansing. “After both of his parents died, he was placed into foster care in Mason and completed 8th grade here at Mason High School,” Brown says.
Marty Colburn, the city administrator of Mason, says that Malcolm X’s short time in Mason was influential in his growth as a human rights activist. Mason’s environment, combined with his upbringing, were also important factors in Malcolm X’s early years.
“My dad was his doctor while he was living here. He said he was a very smart and kind young man,” said Becky Clinton, whose dad founded the Mason hospital and cared for Malcolm X when he was ill.
Malcolm X was very bright in school and was elected the president of his class. His leadership transpired into the real world one day, making Mason proud to have had him in the community.
Clinton says, “Everybody really liked him, and my dad was very proud he got to help him out.”
“There are so many things each community is known for and it brings something special to that community,” says Colburn. There is an art painting of Malcolm on the wall of the high school in Mason says Colburn.
The 150th anniversary of Mason, being this year, marks a very special time for the community to reflect on the history of the city, and it makes them proud that someone of such great influence spent time growing up in Mason.
“I think with Malcolm X he was such a transformation. Regardless of what people would say, he always moved the conversation in a positive direction; we can most definitely see advances that he helped create,” says Brown.