In the 1700s, the land was part of a large wealthy estate. In 1844, Dale Street was laid out as the Seaver estate was divided up for development. During the late 1800s, a series of Victorian homes were constructed along Dale Street.
The house was built in 1872, and for several decades, it was lived in by English and Irish immigrants. These immigrants moved to Roxbury for work near the neighborhood's mills, breweries, and factories.
In 1941, Ella Little-Collins purchased the home for her family. That same year, Malcolm Little, Ella's brother, moved in with her. He lived there during his formative teenage years. After Malcolm's imprisonment for burglary charges, he and his family converted to the Nation of Islam. In 1952, Malcolm Little changed his name to Malcolm X.
Malcolm X would become a major leader in the civil rights movement and Nation of Islam. For the rest of his life, he made frequent visits to his sister's Dale Street home. He was assassinated on February 21, 1965, at the age of 39. Ella passed away in 1996.
The house has remained within the family since its purchase in 1941. In 1998, the Malcolm X-Ella Little-Collins house was designated a City Landmark by the Boston Landmarks Commission and the house was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on February 12, 2021.
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