In his opening prayer, Imam Al Hajj Talib Abdur-Rashid set a tone of reverence and respect at the memorial services for Malcolm Latif Shabazz, the grandson of Malcolm X, last Thursday at First Corinthian Baptist Church in Harlem, remembering him as “an emerging light.”

That promising light, though diminished, was recalled by speaker after speaker, and none more eloquent than Dr. Adelaide L. Sanford, vice chancellor emeritus of the New York State Board of Regents. “He was finding the way,” she said, after explaining that judgment in the brain often does not appear until people are in their 20s.

Shabazz was 28 when he was slain on May 9 in Mexico City. According to the program at the memorial, he was traveling in Mexico to aid the plight of African-Mexican construction workers. This commitment was consistent with his international travels and endeavors that many see as a direct replication of those of his illustrious grandfather, who, in his final days, had made countless global connects and affiliations.

The light Shabazz was emitting and “his ability to articulate his vision,” said noted scholar James Small, “was complete and an aspect of the divine.”

Popular communicator and commentator Mark Thompson, after thoroughly taking the mainstream media to task for mischaracterizing Shabazz as troubled and wayward, said, “It is left for us to finish his sentences.” He then deftly interspersed the eulogy delivered by the late Ossie Davis at the funeral services for Malcolm X (El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz) with this final farewell for his grandson, denoting how each was representative of our manhood, and in honoring them, both Malcolms, we “honor the best in ourselves.”

When the Rev. Conrad Tillard, during his totally engrossing moment at the podium, stated, “There is a war on Black men,” he anticipated words uttered by Shabazz during a video clip.

“There are hundreds of Black men who are getting murdered throughout the country with impunity,” Shabazz declared, sounding like the grandfather he so deeply admired.

Abiodun Oyewole, one of the renowned Last Poets, also recalled Shabazz as a “ray of light,” and then compared him with his grandfather, both of them “having to go through changes.” But Shabazz, he continued, “was fashioned out of a world his grandfather left behind.”

Both Malcolms, said author and former NBA star Etan Thomas, “were just scratching the surface … toward changing the world,” he said. “Malcolm genuinely wanted to help his people.” Thomas vividly recounted an appearance they made together at Rikers Island, where Shabazz “connected instantly” with the young men incarcerated there. “The media mischaracterized him … they cannot define him.”

His concluding comments were warmly received by the nearly 300 people in attendance. And the audience was even more animated and on their feet when author-activist Sister Souljah walked on stage.

For much of the more than 20 minutes, Souljah regaled listeners with a speech of admonition and self-determination, with a solid dose of counseling, from a woman familiar with “love and sacrifice.”

“If we all could be more honest to one another, there would be more peace,” she charged. “Without love and sacrifice, we cannot win.” Taking a firm Black woman’s stance, she insisted that “motherhood is a powerful force … and I am a soldier, and I will fight.”

If there were not a surfeit of words for Shabazz, she had plenty of advice to Black men and women about getting their act together to begin “a thorough investigation” of their souls.

Former Mayor of Mount Vernon Ernest Davis invoked young Shabazz, indicating that he was “on the road to that love” Sister Souljah talked about. But it was the entire Shabazz family that was his focus, as he conjured the treatise of Willie Lynch and the slogans of Marcus Garvey. “The Shabazz family has contributed mightily,” he said, and he thanked them for this unwavering commitment.

Malaak Shabazz, Shabazz’s aunt and daughter of Malcolm X, thanked First Corinthian for allowing the services to be held there, though Senior Pastor Michael Waldron was not able to be there to officiate. However, the Rev. Tory Liferidge, with the able assistance of Terrie Williams, moved the more than two hours along seamlessly.

While there were other heartfelt comments from other members of the Shabazz family, including from Ruth Clark and Mary Redd Adrienne and Nadia Testamark, it was left for Ilyasah Shabazz, Malaak’s sister, to capture the narrative thread of the affair, thoughtfully citing that her father and Shabazz “were spiritually connected.” Both were self-educated, and young Malcolm, she explained, was fluent in English, French, Spanish and Arabic. “He had accomplished so much in such a short amount of time,” she added.

Both Malcolms, she concluded, were strong, worked hard and stood up for their people. “They are together now … together in victory.”

Their victory will be celebrated by generations to come, and such talented and promising voices as Dominique Sharpton, Messiah, Angela Freeman, Jiwe and Locksmith and Jaheim seem to guarantee the perpetuation of that light so brilliantly radiated by Malcolm Shabazz.

“When I think of you,” sang recording artist Jaheim, “I got to be strong and move on … I miss you.”