Even casual historians and citizens are well aware of who Malcolm X, one of the most revered freedom fighters in American history, is. The shadow he cast, and the impact he had, upon urbanites in the second half of the 20th century is immeasurable. But just who is his grandson, Malcolm Shabazz, the son who by birth was christened the surname that Malcolm X would change his name to in 1964 after his personal pilgrimage to Mecca (Malcolm changed his name to El Hajj Malik El Shabazz but, allowed people to continue to call him Malcolm for public appearances until his assassination in February 1965).
Malcolm Shabazz is the son of Qubilah Shabazz, who was the second daughter of Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz. He was the first male descendent of Malcolm after the immortal civil rights leader had six daughters. In his youth, he came to national attention when he was convicted of setting a fire that caused the death of his grandmother, Betty Shabazz, Malcolm X’s widow. Malcolm Shabazz plead plead guilty to manslaughter, was found guilty of arson, and was sentenced to 18 months in a juvenile detention facility.
Shabazz would later tell the Amsterdam News that he did not set that fire.
As an adult, Shabazz continued to have an affiliation with America’s penal system, The New York Times reported. He pled guilty to attempted robbery in 2002 and was sentenced to three and a half years in prison. Just months after his release in 2006, he was arrested again, this time for punching a hole in a store window.
At the time of his death, Shabazz was attending John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York and working on two books.
Malcolm Shabazz is survived by his mother and two daughters.
Below are photos of Malcolm Shabazz, including those where he replicated the poses his beloved grandfather made timeless.