Ella Little-Collins (1914 – 1996) was an American civil rights activist and the half-sister of Malcolm X. She was born in Butler, Georgia, to Earl Little and Daisy Little (née Mason); her paternal grandparents were John (Big Pa) Lee Little and Ella Little (née Gray), and her siblings were Mary Little and Earl Lee Little Jr. She had seven half-siblings from her father's second marriage: Wilfred, Philbert, Hilda, Reginald, Malcolm, Wesley, and Yvonne. She worked as congressman Adam Clayton Powell's secretary, the manager of her mother's grocery store, and an investor in house property, which she let out as rooming houses. She joined the Nation of Islam in the mid-1950s and helped establish its mosque in Boston and a day-care center attached to it, although she left the Nation in 1959 to become a Sunni Muslim. She supported black and ethnic studies programs in universities across the United States and founded the Sarah A. Little School of Preparatory Arts in Boston.
In his autobiography, Malcolm X wrote about the impact his first meeting with his half-sister had on him. She came to visit when he was in seventh grade, and he described her as "the first really proud black woman I had ever seen" and wrote "I had never been so impressed with anybody." At the end of the school year, he moved to Roxbury to live with her, and she was his guardian until he turned 21. Her home, the Malcolm X—Ella Little-Collins House, is the last known surviving childhood home of Malcolm X. Its exterior was designated a Boston Landmark by the Boston Landmarks Commission in 1998, and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2021.
When Malcolm X left the Nation of Islam in 1964, Little-Collins paid for him to make the Hajj. She also paid his funeral and business expenses after his assassination, and took over his Organization of Afro-American Unity, including his project of giving 35 scholarships from Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt, and from the University of Ghana to students wishing to study overseas. In 1986 she merged the Organization of Afro-American Unity with the African American Defense League.
The Ella Collins Institute at the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center is named after her; its goal is "to establish a vibrant community by joining a classical understanding of Islam with modern scholarship and a healthy understanding of the current cultural context."
- Hodgson, Godfrey (August 6, 1996). "Obituary: Ella Collins". The Independent. Retrieved July 5, 2016.
- "Who Is Ella Collins?". Ella Collins Institute. Archived from the original on December 16, 2013. Retrieved July 5, 2016.
- Malcolm X; with the assistance of Alex Haley (1992) . The Autobiography of Malcolm X. New York: One World. pp. 39–40. ISBN 978-0-345-37671-8.
- "Malcolm X – Ella Little-Collins House". National Trust for Historic Preservation. Retrieved July 5, 2016.
- "List of Boston Designated Landmarks" (PDF). Boston Landmarks Commission. January 2014. p. 4. Retrieved July 5, 2016.
- "Weekly listing". National Park Service.
- Millere, Mauricelm-Lei (2021). Malcolm X and The Organization of Afro-American Unity: African American Defense League (A2DL - OAAU). online: Kindle Books. ASIN B097YR2SBH.
- "Our Mission". Ella Collins Institute. Archived from the original on December 16, 2013. Retrieved July 5, 2016.
- Ella Collins at IMDb
- Say Brother Episode; Malcolm X (1969); Ella Collins interview, American Archive of Public Broadcasting
- "Ella Collins, 82, Relative Who Aided Malcolm X". The New York Times. August 6, 1996.
- "Malcolm X – Ella Little-Collins House Boston Landmarks Commission Study Report" (PDF). Boston Landmarks Commission. August 21, 1998.