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Malcolm X grandson decries Marable biography on 86th birthday observation

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

Asked if this is the consensus with the Shabazz family, he replied, "My aunts and my mother are probably more emotional about it than I am. I just want to protect them. That's their father. They watched him get murdered. They remember that. Everything their father represents is real personal."

As he finishes his own book, a coming-of-age memoir packed with social political commentary, the man who was 12-years-old when he was charged with setting the fire that killed his grandmother in 1996, said his book will touch on many issues, including previously undisclosed facts.

Shabazz, the father of Ilyasah, his 4-year-old daughter, is about to return to John Jay College to study international criminal justice and government. He will be in New York this weekend to also visit political prisoner Sekou Odinga, who is currently being held at the Shawangunk Correctional Facility.

Accompanying Shabazz will be journalist J.R. Valrey. The Bay Area-based scribe, creative force and producer of "Operation Small Ax," an Oscar Grant documentary, is coming to the city to promote his fascinating tome, "Block Reportin'." The 21st century griot has assembled a series of his interviews with a host of notable Black figures, ranging from Malcolm Shabazz to former U.S. Congresswoman and former presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney, Mumia Abu Jamal, Ericka Huggins and Freeway Ricky Ross.

Citing what happened with Denmark Vesey, Shabazz said that when the leader of a would-be revolt among enslaved Africans was killed by white enslavers, "nobody could mourn. Nobody could wear black, nobody could cry, nobody could know where he was buried, because they didn't want that place to become a place of homage. So it is important that we visit the gravesites of people my grandfather," he said regarding the May 19 annual pilgrimage to the cemetery, which is located half an hour outside of New York City.

"It's important that we visit the gravesites and honor and keep [our leaders'] legacies alive. It honors their spirits, their sacrifices and their contributions. It helps us to honor their memory, but always we keep God first."

Starting at noon on Thursday, May 19, the December 12th Movement will hold the 24th annual "Black Power: Shut 'Em Down March and Rally." The rally will assemble at 125th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard in Harlem. In respect for Malcolm, all businesses along the 125th Street business corridor will close from 1-4 p.m.

"Malcolm X fought for the freedom of African people worldwide," said Viola Plummer, co-founder of the December 13th Movement. "He taught us to take our struggle to the international arena and strengthen Pan-African unity."

Announcing an evening presentation, Plummer declared, "The current imperialist attack on Africans at home and abroad must be beaten back politically and economically. Hands off, Libya and Zimbabwe! Join us for an evening program May 19 at 6:30 p.m. at the Oberia Demsey Center at 127 W. 127 St., Harlem, N.Y."

Meanwhile, the National Black United Front will be hosting a program in Brooklyn from 6-9 p.m. Dr. Betty Shabazz Elementary P.S./I.S. 298 (85 Watkins St., between Glenmore and Pitkin avenues) will be the venue for activists such as Michael Hooper, Jitu Weusi, Felipe Luciano, Daniel Goodine and Maxine Flowers. For more information, call (347) 825-4900.