A daughter of human rights activist Malcolm X stood at a podium, looking out at a sea of faces Sunday at the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Burlington during an annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day remembrance.
Ilyasah al Shabazz smiled and said she used to visit Vermont when she was a young girl to attend camp in Pittsford. At that time, Vermonters she met were not accustomed to meeting black people, and she was very aware of the color of her skin, she said.
“They used to touch our hair and they would touch our skin, and it was just something new,” Shabazz said. “I’m really astonished to see so many colorful faces here today.”