Archaeologists Dig at Malcolm X's Childhood Home

They're hoping to learn more about his early life
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 29, 2016 4:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – Archaeologists are digging at a boyhood home of Malcolm X in an effort to uncover more about the slain black rights activist's early life as well as the property's long history, which possibly includes Native American settlement. The two-week archaeological dig began Tuesday outside a two-and-a-half story home in Boston's historically black Roxbury neighborhood that was built in 1874, the AP reports. City Archaeologist Joseph Bagley said his office chose to dig up the site because it's likely that work will be needed soon to shore up the foundation of the vacant and run down structure. "This is kind of a now-or-never dig," he said. "If we don't do this, the site will be destroyed. We can't afford to wait."

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Among Tuesday's early finds was a large piece of fine porcelain that Bagley says was likely part of a dish set owned by the family of Malcolm X's sister, which still owns the house. Bagley says once the initial rubble is cleared, a ground-penetrating radar survey will be used to determine the best locations to dig. Major excavation work is expected to dig up to four feet into the ground. The site will be open to the public throughout to observe the work. The former Malcolm Little was a teenager in the 1940s when he lived with his sister Ella Little-Collins and her family at 72 Dale St. The house was designated a city landmark in 1998 because it's the only known dwelling from the outspoken activist's formative years in Boston still standing. (Read more Malcolm X stories.)

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