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Malcolm X grandson decries Marable biography on 86th birthday observation

Nayaba Arinde | 5/25/2011, 12:46 p.m.

Throwing a book at the book, "Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention," Malcolm Shabazz, grandson of Malcolm X, is unimpressed with Manning Marable's hefty tome written about his world famous relative.

Marable's book stirred up a virtual hornet's nest when he noted that although there was no evidence, there was a rumor Malcolm X was involved in homosexual acts during the years he hustled on the streets before gaining knowledge of self. Marable went further and mentioned talk of infidelity by both Malcolm and his wife, Betty.

"The rapper M1 stated that we are all human beings, and as human beings, we do have flaws and contradictions, but we can't apply homosexuality to my grandfather," Shabazz told the AmNews. "Homosexuality is against human nature. This is an assassination of his character. Slander. There is no evidence, no facts. They put these claims out there to sell books and to discredit him."

On Thursday, May 19, the world observes what would have been the 86th birthday of El Hajj Malik El Shabazz, Malcolm X. The annual motorcade of cars and buses leave at 9 p.m. from in front of the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building and travel to the Fern Cliff Cemetery to the gravesite shared by Malcolm X and Betty.

In town this weekend for "Malcolm X Week," Malcolm Shabazz will be speaking at City College on Saturday, May 21 at the Guillermo Morales-Assata Shakur Center in the NAC Building, located at 137th Street and Convent Avenue, at 4 p.m.

"I haven't read the entire book; I have read excerpts," Shabazz said of Marable's controversial biography, which was released last month, mere days before Marable's passing.

"This book is about making money," Shabazz charged, "but I had known the man personally since I was about 16 years old. The three main things that stick out in the book to me is how he emphasized the homosexual acts that [he implied] my grandfather was engaged in with a rich white man during his hustling days; how my grandparents had a loveless relationship and were unfaithful to each other; and how my grandfather may have embellished his criminal lifestyle.

"They can't apply homosexuality to my grandfather at all. To try and do so does not humanize him, it dehumanizes him.. You know, J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI and the CIA were monitoring my grandfather to put out dirt about him. If they couldn't find anything, what makes anyone think Manning Marable has? Manning Marable is a better researcher and investigator than the FBI and the CIA? The FBI and the CIA put out tapes on Dr. Martin Luther King's indiscretions and other leaders. They couldn't find anything on my grandfather, so we don't try to create something that wasn't there."

Shabazz's point No. 2: "My grandparents had a very unique relationship. It was a model for us as a people. "They had six children together, so they were obviously intimate and they were mating. I have one daughter, and she is a blessing. Unfortunately, her mother and I don't have the best relationship. I wish I would have more children with one woman, but to have six children to one woman--that shows the love right there."