Its source is Mael Coluim, a Gaelic name meaning "Devotee of St. Columba."
Columba means ''dove'' in Latin. St. Columba was a medieval Irish missionary to Scotland, one of the many Irish clerics who re-introduced Christianity and classical learning to northern Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire.
The popularity of the name Malcolm among African Americans is no doubt due to the continuing influence of Malcom X . Born Malcom Little in Omaha, Nebraska in 1925, Malcolm lifted himself out of a life of petty crime to become a major American religious and political leader. Though murdered in 1965, his devotion to Islam and his eloquent advocacy of self-determination and self-defense for African Americans continues to inspire many struggling for racial equality in America.