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Malcolm X grandson decries Marable biography on 86th birthday observation

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

The young man further said, "As for my grandmother, after my grandfather passed, she didn't get remarried a year or two years later or somewhere down the line. You could raise the question, but how could he even know that? My grandmother never got remarried. No one could ever fill that void, fill those shoes. No one out there can ever claim that they had a relationship with my grandmother other than my grandfather. No one can make the claim."

And for his third point, Shabazz determined, "To say that he embellished his criminal lifestyle...if anything, he downplayed his criminal lifestyle. If anybody is writing about themselves, they are not going to tell all the dirt they did.

"My grandfather spoke out against the social ills that led to situations that produced criminal lifestyles. One thing is though, people from all walks of life, from pimps to a drug addict, drug dealer, convicts, they all can all look at him and think, 'He's been in my shoes and look where he is now.' What did he represent to our people? He is an inspiration. He's a perfect example of the epitome of change."

While the 27-year-old father of one said he has not spoken to anyone from Marable's group, "This is the first time I'm speaking about it. There are way more important things to talk about than the Manning Marable book, which is about making money at the end of the day."

He questioned why the author "hasn't relied on any information from the Shabazz family, the Little family, personal family friends, supporters or associates--people who are alive today like Earl Grant, [who is] living in California. He was a member of the OAAU. He was right by my grandfather's second in command. Or A. Peter Bailey, who was also in the OAAU with my grandfather. Where did this information come from? A third or fourth party?"

Citing the Bible and how it has been revised so many times, Shabazz said sometimes with powerful books, "The truth is there to attract you. And there are falsehoods there to entrap you--and that's not scholarly."

"I've spoken to Manning Marable several times since I was 16," Shabazz noted, adding that he never thought Marable would write such a book about his grandfather. In a world where there is a sometimes a state of "education versus certification," Shabazz said "it's unfortunate" that there are certain "intellectual leaders" who are able to position themselves to be authorities on issues that they have little or no personal knowledge. "Sometimes we have these people who are raised with a silver spoon in their mouths their whole life, but take the position of being a spokesperson for the people or talk about shared experiences that they just haven't been through," said Shabazz.

He quoted the eulogy that actor Ossie Davis delivered at his grandfather's funeral, in which he called Malcolm X "our Black shining prince, our Black shining manhood." "They took that and put homosexual on top of that," said Shabazz. "They want to promote homosexuality at the end of the day. When I was at school, people were not openly gay; today, people are saying they are gay in the first grade. It's really acceptable today. They want to promote that today to our people with one of our greatest leaders. But there is no proof, there's no basis, no facts."