Last Updated on March 22, 2023, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 111
Malcolm resides with Ella and her family in "the Hill" in Roxbury, a predominantly African American community in Boston. The majority of the black residents there hold service or menial jobs, with only a few working white-collar positions.
With Shorty's assistance, Malcolm lands a shoe-shining position at the Roseland State Ballroom. He quickly learns that his duties extend beyond polishing footwear, as he also sells alcohol, marijuana, and engages in pimping. Embracing Roxbury's black urban culture, Malcolm acquires his first zoot suit and starts straightening his hair, a process called "conking." In his leisure time, he indulges in playing craps, card games, drinking, and smoking marijuana with Shorty and his pals.