Well, on May 19, we’ll mark what would have been the 88th birthday of Malcolm X.
Unfortunately, this year’s celebration of his extraordinary life will be tempered by the recent murder of his 28 year-old grandson Malcolm Shabazz, who was killed last week in Mexico in an apparent beating.
Terrible. Will this family’s pain cease? When will the cycle of violence that claimed Malcolm X’s father, Malcolm himself, his widow Betty, and now his grandson, ever end?
You know it’s very easy to say things like Malcolm Shabazz was a ‘troubled young man’ or that his ‘problems consumed him’ for the better part of his life.
Yes, he had a criminal record and, tragically, first gained attention as a 12-year-old after setting the fire that killed his grandmother, Betty Shabazz.
He spent much of his teen years in detention and prison and struggled with living in the massive shadow of the grandfather he never knew.
But all of this is what made his subsequent activities even more compelling… In recent years, like his grandfather a half-century before him, Malcolm Shabazz had pushed to transform his life as he began to travel the world, speak out on social injustice, and network with a number of human rights groups.
At the time of his death, he was in Mexico meeting with a representative from a human rights group. And, just like his Grandfather, he was reportedly working on an autobiography of his tumultuous life.