Gamilah Shabazz Was One Of Three Of The Slain Civil Rights Leader’s Daughters Who Attended A Celebration On What Would Have Been His 90th Birthday
One of Malcolm X’s daughters invoked her father’s legacy as she discussed the global impact of America’s problem of police shootings of unarmed black men.
In an exclusive interview with BOSSIP on what would have been her father’s 90th birthday, Gamilah Lumumba Shabazz said the world is watching the United States as it struggles for justice in the wake of several instances of police violence against African-American males.
“The whole community, the whole world is looking at the United States right now,” Shabazz, told BOSSIP. “And they’re usually looking to us. I mean, land of the free?”
“We have to be totally conscious and aware of every single living moment of what’s to follow and what’s going to happen next, because it’s critical right now,” Shabazz said. “It’s either a positive thing or it’s a straight up revolution. Because our youth have no direction, no positive direction.”
Shabazz made the comments May 19 during a birthday celebration for the slain civil rights leader, whose fiery speeches – some of which railed against police brutality – electrified a nation.
Shabazz was joined by two of her five sisters, Malaak and Ilyasah, for the tribute to their father at the very spot he was assassinated, the former Audubon Ballroom, now the Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center in Manhattan.
“We’re so blessed that you all came here to celebrate my father in the house that Betty built and saved,” Malaak Shabazz said at the party. “My mother turned a place of tragedy into a place of human rights and social justice.”
Mothers Hawa Bah and Iris Baez, whose sons, Mohamed Bah and Anthony Baez were killed by NYPD officers, met briefly with the sisters.
The event, organized by entertainment lawyer Londell McMillan, included musical and spoken performances and reflections on Malcolm X before DJ D-Nice spun tunes. The sisters then blew out the candles on a birthday cake as the crowd sang Stevie Wonder’s “Happy Birthday.”
“People say Malcolm X was a changed man,” Ilyasah Shabazz said. “He was a man who continually evolved, continually transformed himself. There are so many young people who are also Malcolm X. We celebrate his legacy so we can instill these values in children, so we can save our children, so children understand that black lives do matter.”