Wayne State University Leads Excavations of Malcolm X’s Inkster Home and Detroit History

Dr. Tareq A. Ramadan, Project Manager at Project We Hope, Dream, and Believe, and Adjunct Professor (WSU), Department of Anthropology, stands in front ongoing rehabilitation efforts of Malcolm X’s former home in Inkster, MI. 

Photo courtesy of Dr. Tareq A.Ramadan.

 

On Monday, a team from Wayne State University’s Department of Anthropology began conducting a six day archaeological excavations at the one-time home of American Civil Rights leader, Malcolm X, at 4336 Williams St. in Inkster, MI.

The home is owned by the Inkster-based non-profit organization Project We Hope Dream and Believe and is partnering with WSU for the excavation digs.

In 2021, the home was successfully recognized by the National Register of Historic Places after nearly two decades of struggle to preserve and restore the space into an honored landmark.

The home, located near the intersection of Annapolis Ave. and Inkster Rd., belonged to Malcolm’s elder brother, Wilfred, and his wife Ruth, both of whom welcomed Malcolm to live with them in early August of 1952 when Inkster was still only a village. Years later, Malcolm referenced his time there in one of his last major public speeches, which took place in Detroit in February of 1965. The Inkster home is reportedly where Malcolm X began his rise in the Nation of Islam.

Malcolm is also connected to Wayne State University, where he gave a talk to a large, enthusiastic student audience on campus at State Hall on October 22, 1963. For more information about Malcolm X’s visit at Wayne State University, check out the archives at Walter P. Reuther Library’s collection here.

Excavations will take place July 18 -23rd from 10am to 3pm and are led by Dr. Tareq A. Ramadan, Project Manager at Project We Hope, Dream, and Believe/ Adjunct Professor (WSU), Department of Anthropology; Dr. Krysta Ryzewski, Chairperson, Department of Anthropology (WSU), Associate Professor and Archaeologist, and Aaron Sims, Founder and Executive Director of Project We Hope, Dream, and Believe.

After months of planning, the team broke ground this week to begin the restoration efforts on the historic home.

In a press release, the project team said, “We hope (the excavations) will provide historical insights into the home and neighborhood Malcolm lived in, are part of the non-profit’s “Malcolm X Project,” which also involves rehabilitating the house and transforming it into a museum that highlights Malcolm’s life as a civil rights leader as well as his time in Inkster.”

The broader renovation project is funded in large part to the African American Civil Rights Grant, which awarded the “Malcolm X Project” a total of $380,850 through the National Park Service’s Historic Preservation Fund.

The opening of the restored home into a museum and community space in honor of the late civil rights icon is expected to be Summer 2023.

To learn more about the Malcolm X Project visit pwhdab.org/restoration.html.

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