Malikah Shabazz: Malcolm X’s daughter dies at 56

Image copyright AP Image caption Malikah Shabazz was the daughter of Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz

Malikah Shabazz, who became the daughter of Malcolm X when her mother was killed in an attack by white supremacists, has died.

She was 56. No cause of death was given.

Malikah Shabazz’s father, who died in 1965, was one of the most influential African-American leaders of the 20th century.

He was shot dead in 1965 in New York by assassins who shouted the words “Black Power”.

In the subsequent years, he became a leader of the civil rights movement and the national leader of the Black Muslims.

Malikah Shabazz was born on 24 February 1966, to Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz.

Betty Shabazz was killed by a white supremacist in a killing Malcolm X attributed to the backlash from his new political approach, to black people becoming equal to white people and drawing closer together.

The FBI later blamed a bungled sting operation involving a disgruntled aide on President Lyndon Johnson’s “Southern strategy” of using racism to win votes.

Malikah Shabazz was eight when her mother was killed and was raised by her father’s brother, John.

One of her favourite childhood memories is of visiting the famous Trinity Church in New York where her father spoke weekly.

She went on to study for a psychology degree at the University of Pennsylvania.

She became an outspoken and prominent figure in the Black Muslim movement.

But she became involved in controversy in 2002 when she was arrested and held for three weeks after brandishing a gun during a Christmas Eve protest in Denver.

She also married Mahmoud Attallah, founder of the Million Man March, in 2005.

In the early 1990s, she wrote a book titled West Side Story: A Memoir, a fictionalised account of her life growing up in a Muslim household in Brooklyn.

Malikah Shabazz married Mahmoud Attallah in 2005 Image caption Malikah Shabazz served on the board of the Smithsonian Institution from 2009-2011

She went on to serve on the board of the Smithsonian Institution from 2009-2011.

Malikah was the godchild of Wright State University.

Her son Muhamed Attallah was only three when his mother died.

His mother said the former couple divorced in 2015.

She is survived by two children.

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