Call goes out to help jailed Malikah Shabazz

NAYABA ARINDE Amsterdam News Editor | 5/27/2011, 11:12 a.m.

There is a saying: "One one co- coa-full basket."

It is in that solid vein that grassroots folks are putting their heads and cash together to raise a $10,000 bond, 10 percent of the $100,000 bail currently set for Malikah Sha- bazz, one of Malcolm X and Dr. Bet- ty Shabazz's six daughters.

A battery of charges, including grand larceny, forgery and iden- tity theft, notwithstanding, the in- formed community appears to be rallying around one of Malcolm's last born. She has been held at Rik- ers Island since March.

Shabazz, 45, was extradited to

Queens from North Carolina, where she was arrested on felony charges of identity theft and grand larceny back in March. Appearing in Queens Criminal Court, she was charged with stealing money and the iden- tity of Khaula Bakr, the widow of a bodyguard of Malcolm X.

Councilman Charles Barron, the Rev. Al Sharpton, Harlem Mosque No. 7 head Minister Abdul Hafeez Muhammad and professor James Smalls are among the community leaders who have expressed inter- est in supporting the family.

"The Shabazz family is the first family of struggle, and we are obli- gated to support them and not make judgments," declared. Dr. Leonard

Jeffries, activist and educator. "Dr. Betty and Malcolm Shabazz's fam- ily is the first family of struggle among African-American people in America, and we are obligated in the African tradition to help the widow and children of our lead- ers. Now we have the children and grandchildren to help and protect. I'll be one of those who will be help- ing, and I encourage others to do so."

"We have to support that family. Because it is their father who we love, we have to support his chil- dren," said cultural activist Nana Camille Yarbrough. "I agree with professor Jeffries 100 percent."

Yarbrough immediately offereda generous cash contribution. "If 10 people or 100 people gave some money, we could get her out of Rikers very quickly. The community has to rally around Malcolm's children."

Barron has been working on the case behind the scenes.

"It a shame that we just celebrated Malcolm X's 86th birthday on May 21, and his twin daughter is languish- ing in prison," said Barron. "We are not going to place any judgment here. She is innocent unless proven otherwise. The community needs to support her and help her get out of jail the best way we can. The best way to honor Malcolm is to support his children, no mat- ter what the circumstances are."

"Malikah has called the office a couple of times," said Lamont Carolina, community liaison for Barron's office. "I spoke with herand she was in good spirits, considering."

The news of Shabazz being extradited to Rikers from her North Carolina home has pretty much flown under the radar. It was her nephew, Malcolm Shabazz, who told of her plight during an event at City College last Saturday, mentioning that Shabazz was still at Rikers and the family was not getting any support. The intimate crowd of 50 or so people at CUNY's Guill- ermo Morales-Assata Shakur Center seemed shocked at the news, but immediately began strategizing among themselves about how they could help.