Malcolm X’s Daughter, Ilyasah Shabazz, Joins Raqiyah Mays on Real Black News
Malcolm X’s daughter, Ilyasah Shabazz, discusses her father’s death, Betty Shabazz, media misconceptions, and her role in Ava DuVernay’s Central Park Five on Real Black News with Raqiyah Mays
“My father didn’t only pose a threat to the Nation of Islam, he posed a threat to the powers that be. That small 10% of people who have the power and control of how we are going to think, feel, communicate with one another, and who is going to jail.” – Malcolm X’s daughter, Ilyasah Shabazz, on Ep. 16 of Real Black News with Raqiyah Mays.
Ep. 16 (October 7, 2018): This week’s episode of Real Black News features the top 5 black news stories of the week with special guests including author, professor, and Malcolm X’s daughter, Ilyasah Shabazz, discussing everything from her father’s death and the household of Betty Shabazz to the media’s misconceptions, and her role in Ava DuVernay’s Central Park Five. “I think the biggest misconception was they had this particular image of my father walking around in a Kung Fu revolutionary stance. And the thing is that, yes, my father was loving. He was very compassionate. He was accountable. He was very purposeful, purpose-driven,” she says in a conversation with Raqiyah Mays. “So I think when people who are going to meet me they expect this very fiery person. And I didn’t grow up like my father grew up. I grew up completely protected by my mother’s wing.”
In Detroit, 1945, eleven-year-old Betty’s house doesn’t quite feel like home. She believes her mother loves her, but she can’t shake the feeling that her mother doesn’t want her. Church helps those worries fade, if only for a little while. The singing, the preaching, the speeches from guest activists like Paul Robeson and Thurgood Marshall stir African Americans in her community to stand up for their rights.
Inspired by Betty’s real life–but expanded upon and fictionalized through collaboration with novelist Renée Watson–Ilyasah Shabazz illuminates four poignant years in her mother’s childhood with this book, painting an inspiring portrait of a girl overcoming the challenges of self-acceptance and belonging that will resonate with young readers today.
“…this moving fictional account of the early life of the late civil rights leader and widow of Malcolm X draws on the recollections of family and friends. The result is a heart-rending imagining of Shabazz’s personal challenges as well as a rare, intimate look at the complex roots of the American civil rights movement. A personal, political and powerful imagining of the early life of the late activist.”Kirkus starredr review
“…absorbing…History comes alive in this illuminating portrayal of the early life of this civil rights activist…”Publishers Weekly starred review