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Malcolm Shabazz marks third generation of family's men killed

HERB BOYD Special to the AmNews | 5/11/2013, 11:55 a.m.
With the confirmation of Malcolm Lateef Shabazz's death, it marks the third generation in which...
Malcolm Shabazz, grandson of Malcolm X, killed

With the confirmation of Malcolm Lateef Shabazz's death, it marks the third generation in which the family has lost a member violently. Malcolm X's father, Earl Little, was killed by the Black Legion or the Ku Klux Klan in 1931. As Malcolm X recalled in his autobiography, "Negroes in Lansing have always whispered that he was attacked, and then laid across some tracks for a streetcar to run over him. His body was cut almost in half."

He also related that that three of his father's brothers were also killed by white men in Georgia, which prompted his father to leave the state.

Malcolm's body was riddled with bullets by assassins on February 21, 1965 as he prepared to address an audience at the Audubon Ballroom in Washington Heights.

Along with the tragic deaths in the family's patrilineal line, Dr. Betty Shabazz was killed in 1997 by a fire in which her grandson, Malcolm Shabazz, was accused and convicted of setting.

The death of the grandson in his late 20's makes him the youngest to have his life end so violently. His grandfather was 39 and still in the prime of his life and on the road to even greater success after meaningful contacts with world leaders in Africa and the Middle East.

As the son of Qubilah Shabazz, Malcolm Shabazz was apparently in the process of putting his life on a positive and productive path, attending John Jay College Of Criminal Justice and writing his memoirs. But now the family has to deal with yet another devastating setback.

During an interview last year with Aliya King for NewsOne.com, Malcolm agreed to be photographed to show his resemblance to his grandfather, including posing with a hat, ring, and rifle staring from a window.

He had very little to say, but did add these comments. "I am [my grandfather's] first male heir, his first grandson. [I've read and been told that] he always wanted a son. No boys in the Shabazz family until me. I used to think [Malcolm X] was my father. My mother told me that. I would ask and she would show me pictures of her father and tell me it was my father. I can't talk to her about him. Nothing in-depth. She acts like she doesn't know about him. She was there. She was four years old and sitting right there [when he was killed]. I don't think she's ever recovered from that."

In 2010, Malcolm Shabazz made the hajj to Mecca and last year it was erroneously reported that he had been arrested while attempting to travel to Iran. He had been arrested, the family said, but it had nothing at all to do with Iran.

The investigation of his death continues as calls have been made to the consulate general's office in Tiajuana, Mexico as well as an email seeking more information about his death.