Shorty was Malcolm’s closest friend in Boston. He was a stocky, heavy-set man, some ten years older than Malcolm (though Malcolm never told him this). His ambition was to be a musician, but when Malcolm met him, he was racking balls in a poolroom. Later, after he rescued Malcolm from difficulties in Harlem, the two became burglary partners, were caught, and went to prison together. When Malcolm last saw him, he was working as a musician and was married to a white woman.
Shorty proves to be a faithful friend to Malcolm, and there is a great deal of affection between them. Shorty was never a full-fledged hustler like Malcolm, but he knew the ways of the ghetto well enough to tutor Malcolm in them. His main weakness was white women. In this respect, Malcolm views him as a brainwashed black man.