Thursday, August 26, 2021

MalcoIm X home restoration to be funded by grant

The Inkster home where Malcolm X lived will be restored.
A federal grant will help restore and preserve the onetime Inkster home of Malcolm X.

Project We Hope, Dream & Believe, non-profit organization, received $380,850 through an African American Civil Rights grant provided by the Historic Preservation Fund administered by the National Park Service to save the house and grounds.

Aaron Sims, executive director of the group, has been leading the effort to preserve and restore the home at 4336 Williams St. in Inkster for more than seven years. The group was awarded the home with help from Inkster Mayor Patrick Wimberly in 2018 and has continued their volunteer efforts to clean and restore the property, hoping to turn it into a museum or youth center celebrating the life of Malcolm X.

The group has sought donations and even sold memorial bricks to be used at the site to help fund the preservation of the home during the past several years. 

“The funds will be used to restore the home and transform it into a museum dedicated to preserving and highlighting the history and contribution of the world renown and gifted social revolutionary and civil rights leader,” Sims said in a prepared release. 

Malcolm Little, who became Malcolm X, lived in the home with his brother, Winfred Little, after being released from prison in the 1950s. While living in the home, he worked at a furniture store on Oakland Street in the city and it was during this time he joined the Nation of Islam in Detroit and became a minister.

In Malcolm X's famous By Any Means Necessary speech, he mentions his daily commute from Inkster to Detroit.

“The grant funding will ensure Project We Hope, Dream & Believe can achieve its goals for the historically important home in a city and a state that was so pivotal to Malcolm's personal growth, development, and worldview,” Sims noted in the prepared statement. He added that since Malcolm came to the City of Inkster in early August of 1952, it seemed appropriate to make the announcement of the grant to preserve his home during the same month.

“Project We Hope, Dream & Believe is incredibly thankful for this grant and for the opportunity it will provide in helping to preserve the legacy of one of America's most influential leaders,” the statement concluded.