Home Youth activism Ilyasah Shabazz talks about “The Awakening of Malcolm X”

Ilyasah Shabazz talks about “The Awakening of Malcolm X”


By Stacy M. Brown
NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

Ilyasah Shabazz, the third daughter of Malcolm X and Dr Betty Shabazz, acknowledged that she was inspired by the current generation of activists who have helped advance the Black Lives Matter movement globally.
She said her famous deceased parents predicted that young people these days would recognize that those in power have abused their authority.
“They must [uncover] the truth, and they’re ready to do the job it takes to make it happen, ”Shabazz told the National Newspaper Publishers Association in an exclusive interview at the Marriott Marquis in New York City.
A model herself, Shabazz has taken up the torch from her beloved activist parents and advocated for the empowerment of youth, women and girls.
She has dedicated her life to helping others “find inner strength and purpose,” said Shabazz, 59.
An adjunct professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, Shabazz has written five award-winning books on his life and that of his parents.
The latest, The Awakening of Malcolm X, is described by editors as “a powerful narrative of the activist’s teenage years in prison.”
“I had the opportunity to work with Tiffany T. Jackson, an award-winning novelist, and it allowed me to focus on the criminal justice system and humanity,” Shabazz said.
“I found out that my dad was the star debater at an experimental rehabilitation center who had inherited a huge number of books,” she continued.
“Malcolm has read just about every one of these books, and he read the dictionary so that he could understand the roots of the words to allow him to be at his best in any way necessary.”
Shabazz denounced US spending billions of dollars on mass incarceration instead of using the money to deal with soaring tuition fees and after-school programs.

Dr Betty Shabazz and Malcolm X / Pintrest

She noted that much of her activism and the basis of her beliefs are discussed in each of her books, “Growing Up X”, “Malcolm Little: The Boy Who Grew Up to Become Malcolm X”, “X: A Novel “and” Before Betty X. “
“I remember when I wrote ‘Growing up X’ my mother had just passed away, and I remember attending a public meeting with her where everyone stood up to talk and greeted her.” , Shabazz recalls.
“I admired my mother because she wasn’t there to say something good and leave. Instead, she was there to make a difference. At that point, however, I also remember thinking about what we would do someday if we lost her. “
Betty Shabazz died in 1997, just over 32 years after Malcolm X’s assassination.
“I wanted to finish some of the work my mother was doing,” Shabazz insisted.
“I didn’t think I could, but I wanted to, so I decided to write a book, and that’s when my editor found out that my life as Malcolm and Betty’s daughter was not what one would have expected.
“People were misinformed and there were so many false images and information about my father. My father was joy, dignity and truth. Sadly, the images portrayed by some were absolutely contradicting all of this, so whenever people met my sisters and I, they were rejected. “
Shabazz, who has implemented several cultural and community outreach initiatives, revealed that she and her sisters have enjoyed a great relationship with the families of civil rights icons, Dr Martin Luther King Jr. and Medgar Evers.
“We are fortunate to have and have had relationships with Aunt Coretta (Scott-King) and Aunt Myrlie (Evers),” Shabazz said.
“I am also grateful to have [King’s daughter] like my sister.
Shabazz echoed his father when discussing racism in America.
“If we all believe in the oneness of God, we certainly believe in the oneness of man, the oneness of women and the oneness of mankind,” Shabazz said.
“My father provided the greatest criticism of America and insisted that America keep its promise of freedom and justice for all. Malcolm insisted on the truth.
“I am optimistic for this generation, and my dad recognized that this generation of young people would be willing to roll up their sleeves and do the necessary work, and we are seeing that.
“After the murder of George Floyd, young people organized these mass movements in all 50 states and in 18 countries abroad where people from all walks of life proclaimed that black lives matter. I think everyone has understood that.

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