In the month marking the month in which beloved human rights leader Malcolm X (El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz) was brutally assassinated in Manhattan’s Audubon Ballroom in 1965, new evidence shedding light on who was involved was shared in a news conference with members of Malcolm’s family expected to be in attendance. Specifically, Ilyasah, Gamilah, and Qubilah Shabazz were in attendance.
Some know Ilyasah Shabazz as the daughter of Malcolm who is an adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. I suspect Malcolm’s family would have loved for Betty Shabazz to be alive to see this moment.
This news conference, streamed live on NNV News’ YouTube channel, was held by, well-known civil rights attorney, Ben Crump, co-counsels, and Reggie Wood– the relative and estate administrator of a man named Ray Wood.
In a written confession he instructed to be shared after his passing, Ray Wood says the NYPD hired him to encourage leaders and members of civil & human rights organizations like Malcolm’s “to commit felonious acts.” According to him, he didn’t know Malcolm X was the target of assassination, but he said he did play a role in guaranteeing Malcolm X would not have door security on that dreadful February 21 1965 day.
I encourage everyone to view the news conference, but I know I realistically cannot expect everyone to understand. For some of us growing up, one of the first books the men in our lives gave us to read was The Autobiography of Malcolm X. For that reason and others, so many have a strong connection with the human rights icon.
Some know Malcolm X from the very popular X movie with Denzel Washington playing the human rights leader. For those new to his history, we in the United States and elsewhere honor El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X) as the prolific Spokesman of the Nation of Islam under The Honorable Elijah Muhammad and later going on to lead his own organization called the Organization of Afro American Unity established in New York City with other leaders. This organization was recognized on a page of a 1964 issue of the New York Times entitled “Organizations and Leaders Campaigning for Negro Goals in the United States.”
As with many members of the Nation of Islam, he became intrigued by the teachings of The Honorable Elijah Muhammad while he was incarcerated. Malcolm at one point was a critic of the Civil Rights Movement and its leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but later saw the value in working alongside the movement without compromising his core principles. There is the well-known photograph of the two men together taken shortly before Malcolm’s pilgrimage to Mecca.
Lastly, I can’t talk about Malcolm without sharing some inspiring Malcolm X quotes:
“My alma mater was books, a good library… I could spend the rest of my life reading, just satisfying my curiosity.”
“There is no better teacher than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance next time.”
“You don’t have to be a man to fight for freedom. All you have to do is to be an intelligent human being.”
“There is nothing in our book, The Qur’an, that teaches us to suffer peacefully. Our religion teaches us to be intelligent. Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery. That’s a good religion.”
Malcolm X“MESSAGE TO THE GRASS ROOTS,” SPEECH, NOV. 1963, DETROIT
We thank NNV News for covering the event.
The African American Muslim Experience. Last accessed: 2/21/2021.
ORGANIZATION OF AFRO-AMERICAN UNITY (OAAU) 1965. Last Accessed: 2/21/2021.