V. It was during the time he spent in prison, in a letter he received from his brother Philbert that he first heard about a new religion Philbert believed in, called the Lost-Found Nation of Islam. Through letters and visits that came from his brothers and sisters, Malcolm learned about these Black Muslims, as their name was more commonly known. Their leader was Elijah Muhammed, the imam, who lived in Chicago and taught that the first man and woman were black, and that the true religion was Islam; and its people, Muslims. He would tell black Americans that they once had been Muslims back in Africa or the Middle East before slavery's day when their ancestors had been kidnapped and brought here in chains, not long ago. White men, he held, were devils, who were created by a mad scientists and so, black people had been living in hell ever since they had been to America brought and mixed with the white people who lived here. And Elijah told black people they ought to follow the ways of the religion of Islam, which had very strict rules about dress and behavior which members were bound to obey. The Nation of Islam in the West would not permit members to eat unclean food such as pork, or to smoke or to drink or take drugs. Dancing, drinking, and long vacations were things from which they must shrink. Women had to wear ankle-length dresses and scarves to cover their heads. Neither were they permitted to wear make-up. And men, the religion said, must wear dark suits, white shirts, and neckties. Malcolm was drawn to the philosophy, and the part about white people being devils seemed true to him especially. Soon, Malcolm was writing letters to everyone he could think of about his new creed, and it was in large part due to these letters that he would educate himself to his needs. Malcolm asked to be given a dictionary to use since his vocabulary was very bad, and after looking it over for a few days, he began copying it until he had copied the entire book, cover to cover. Now, he could understand what he would read, and he read books from the prison library -- it was as if his mind had been freed. When he would try to discuss the things he'd read about slavery, some of the black men would listen to him and talk about it, but the white prisoners wouldn't spend their time talking about slavery or racism. And thus, Malcolm said he made up his mind to spend his life telling white people about themselves. Malcolm even got his prison sentence time reduced, and was released early because of good behavior in 1952. Now twenty-seven, he returned to Detroit to be with his family and to be able to learn as much as he could learn about Islam. Now, Malcolm was very happy and felt that his life was beautiful, being among people who had learned to be proud of the fact that they were black. He met Elijah Muhammed before year's end and was accepted into the Islamic faith. And when Malcolm became a Muslim, he was given the name Malcolm X which stood for the unknown African name which his ancestors had before the time they as slaves, to America came. Continue