Malcom X was born into a life of poverty and hardship. When he was just four years old, his family's house burned to the ground. Two years later his father died, and his mother found it difficult to care for her eight children. Left to fend for himself, Malcolm was placed in a foster home. As a teenager, he was convicted of robbery and sent to prison. But Malcom studied hard in jail and by the time he was thirty he had become a powerful leader and speaker. People all around the world listened to what he had to say, and African Americans began to demand changes in the way they were treated.