She finally gets to meet her father.
Malikah Shabazz, daughter of civil rights activists Malcolm X (also known as El Hajj Malik El Shabazz) and Dr. Betty Shabazz, has gone home to the ancestors. She was 56. According to the New York Police Department, she was found unresponsive in her Brooklyn apartment by her daughter. When emergency services arrived, they announced her deceased. Her death appeared to be from natural causes, according to the Associated Press.
Shabazz was the youngest, along with her twin sister Malaak, of Malcolm and Betty's six children; however, she never met her father. He was assassinated February 1965 while her mother was still pregnant, she was born September 30th of that same year. In a 1993 interview with the New York Times, Betty said she taught the girls about their father by modeling herself after him.
"I taught them about him by myself being disciplined and strict," she told reporters. "My children think my persona is me, when actually it is their father's."
World leaders are reeling from the news. Bernice King, the youngest child of civil rights activists Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King, who has close ties with the Shabazz family, expressed her condolences.
Shabazz's death comes just days after a judge dismissed the convictions of two of the three men found guilty of the 1965 assassination of her father, Malcolm X. The Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said that "it was clear these men did not receive a fair trial."
In recent years, Shabazz and her sisters created a clothing line in honor of their father. The collection honors Malcolm X's 12 Principles: unity, human rights, self-sacrifice, spirituality, self-determination, education, economic independence, self-defense, anti-racism, cultural pride, restoration, and justice.
Lori Anne Douglass, Shabazz's legal representation in the litigation over her mother’s estate, told reporters she was smart and full of life.
“She loved her family, missed her mother terribly, missed her father terribly, and like any other young person that loses their parents, had a difficult time dealing with that,” she said.
Shabazz is survived by her family and friends. We are sending our love and condolences to all who knew her.
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