Malcolm X Day

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Malcolm X Day
Malcolm X NYWTS 2a.jpg
Malcolm X
Observed by Berkeley, California, United States
Type Nationwide festivities
Local holiday (May 19)
Date May 19
2017 date May 19  (2017-05-19)
2018 date May 18  (2018-05-18)
2019 date May 17  (2019-05-17)
2020 date May 15  (2020-05-15)
Frequency annual

Malcolm X Day is an American holiday in honor of the civil rights leader Malcolm X which is celebrated either on May 19 (Malcolm's birthday), or the third Sunday of May. The commemoration has been proposed as an official state holiday in the U.S. state of Illinois in 2015. As of present, only the city of Berkeley, California observes the holiday with city offices and schools closed.[1]


The Malcolm X Day holiday has been an official holiday in the municipality of Berkeley, California since 1979. Since then, there have been multiple proposals for the holiday to be official elsewhere. Most recently in 2015, a proposal put forth by the Council of Islamic Organizations of Chicago to make the holiday official in the U.S. state of Illinois.[2] The Illinois proposal differs from the Berkeley, California resolution in that the holiday would be observed May 19 instead of the third Friday in May.[3] Before that, unsuccessful attempts were made in Atlanta, Georgia, and Washington, D.C, with numerous calls for it to be celebrated alongside Martin Luther King, Jr. Day[4] as a federal holiday.[5] In 1993, this holiday was proposed at the federal level to Congress as H.J.R. #323 by Congressman Charles Rangel.[6] In 2015, the Illinois Senate unanimously passed the resolution for the official holiday designation where the law "... officially designated 'May 19, 2015, and every May 19 thereafter' as Malcolm X Day.[7] Though the resolution passed making the holiday official, the Illinois official list of holidays still has yet to reflect the holiday.[8]

Observances by state

State Current local observances
California Holiday marked with an official event in San Jose and San Francisco.[9] In Berkeley, California, there is currently a legal status on this holiday.[1] This holiday has been in place since 1979.[10][11]
District of Columbia Schools such as the Malcolm X Elementary School in Washington, D.C., mark this holiday through UPEACE, US's DCPEACE program.[12] The first known celebration of Malcolm X Day took place in Washington, D.C., in 1971.[13] Was once proposed as a holiday.
Florida Holiday marked with an official event in Jacksonville in the Historic Durkeville neighborhood. The events are marked with live performances and a parade.[14]
Georgia Holiday marked with festival since 1989 in Atlanta's West End Park.[15] Was once proposed as a holiday.
Illinois As of 2015, the holiday has a legal status in this state.[2]
Minnesota Malcolm X Day is celebrated with the Malcolm X Conference in Minneapolis.[16]
Missouri A house bill HB 172 was introduced to the state legislature for the observation of Malcolm X Day.[17][18]
New York Malcolm X Day is celebrated in the Harlem section of New York City with a music event.[19]
Ohio Malcolm X Day is celebrated with the "Malcolm X Heritage Festival" in Columbus, Ohio.[20]
Oregon Malcolm X Day is marked with a peaceful demonstration in Salem, Oregon.[21]
Pennsylvania Malcolm X Day became significant after the Ferguson riots. Events are marked with community activities in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and other places.[22][23][24]
Tennessee Malcolm X Day is celebrated in Nashville.[25]
Texas Malcolm X Day is celebrated in San Antonio.[26]
Washington Malcolm X Day is marked with a music festival at Umojafest.[27]
Wisconsin Malcolm X Day is celebrated with a general public event with speakers in Milwaukee.[28]


Malcolm X (/ˈmælkəm ˈɛks/) (born Malcolm Little; May 19, 1925 – February 21, 1965), and also known as el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz[A] (Arabic: الحاجّ مالك الشباز‎), was an American Muslim minister and a human rights activist. To his admirers he was a courageous advocate for the rights of blacks, a man who indicted white America in the harshest terms for its crimes against black Americans; detractors accused him of preaching racism and violence. He has been called one of the greatest and most influential African Americans in history.

See also

Other holidays honoring African Americans


  1. ^ This name includes the honorific El-Hajj, given on completion of the Hajj to Mecca. Malise Ruthven (1997). Islam: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. p. 147. ISBN 978-0-19-285389-9. 


  1. ^ a b Malcolm X Day celebrated at namesake school 
  2. ^ a b "Illinois Designates May 19 as Malcolm X Day". 
  3. ^ "Malcolm X Day on May 19 Proposed for State of Illinois". #
  4. ^ "We Need a Malcolm X Day", Time, January 20, 2012 
  5. ^ Does Malcolm X Deserve a Federal Holiday? 
  6. ^ "H.J.RES.323 -- Whereas Malcolm X was born Malcolm Little on May 19, 1925, in Omaha, Nebraska; (Introduced in House - IH)". 
  7. ^ Chambers, Bill (May 19, 2015). "Illinois Designates May 19 as Malcolm X Day". The Chicago Monitor. Retrieved May 20, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Illinois State Holidays". 
  9. ^ "San Jose: Claim Malcolm X Day San Jose". 
  10. ^ Malcolm X Day — more than a day off? 
  11. ^ City of Berkeley: 2012 Holiday and Reduced Service Days Schedule 
  12. ^ Malcolm X Day 
  13. ^ Gay, Kathlyn (2007). African-American Holidays, Festivals and Celebrations. Detroit: Omnigraphics. p. 284. ISBN 978-0-7808-0779-2. 
  14. ^ "The Malcolm X Festival and Parade". 
  15. ^ "Malcolm X Festival". 
  16. ^ "Minnesota's 1st Annual Malcolm X Day". 
  17. ^ "HB 172 -- MALCOLM X DAY COMMISSION". 
  18. ^ "HOUSE BILL NO. 172 / 98th General Assembly" (PDF). 
  19. ^ "You Are Invited to Malcolm X's 90th Birthday Celebration in New York City". 
  21. ^ "SURJ on Malcolm X's Birthday at the Capitol in Salem, Oregon". 
  22. ^ "Malcolm X Day". 
  23. ^ "Community Day at Malcolm X Park in Philadelphia". 
  24. ^ "Malcolm X Day Pittsburgh". 
  25. ^ "2nd Annual Malcolm X Day Celebration". 
  26. ^ "1st Annual From Malcolm to Me: A weekend celebration of the life and legacy of Malcolm X". 
  27. ^ "Malcolm X Day Conference and Music Fest at Umojafest P.E.A.C.E. Center". 
  28. ^ "Milwaukee: Malcolm X Day Celebration- Milwaukee!". 

External links

  • Malcolm X Day, Washington, D.C.
  • Malcolm X Day, The University of Kansas Medical Center Diversity Calendar
  • May 19 is now Malcolm X Day in Illinois, The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago
  • Savali, Kirsten West (May 19, 2015). "Happy X Day? The Case Against a Federal Holiday for Malcolm X". The Root. 
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