My Interview of Malcolm X’s Daughter:
by William Jackson, M.Edu
My Quest To Teach – MyQuestToTeach.WordPress.com
There are rare opportunities that
allow a person to interview the
person that he idolizes and respects
in life. A man, even in death, his words
can continue to mentor, influence
Blacks to reach their potential
as a great people.
My opportunity to interview Ilyasah Shabazz, the
daughter of Malcolm X was an awesome honor,
humbling experience and reignited my passion to
be a better father, educator, mentor and community
This unique opportunity afforded me an opportunity
to get close to my inspiration that today
has influence on the minds and passions of millions
of people globally.
I have for years read books,
listened to Youtube videos,
Podcasts and blogged about
the life and cultural influences
of Malcolm X.
His passion for Black culture,
the undeniable love
for his wife and children, embracing
the empowerment of education and
teaching the historical contributions
of Blacks not just in America,
but around the world.
Malcolm X’s influence is felt even in the 21st century.
Ossie Davis at the funeral of Malcolm X reflected
on him as “a Prince – our own Black shining Prince.”
I’m not a member of the Nation of Islam, I’m not a
practicing Muslim, nor am I a closet Black Panther,
what I’ am is a man who is learning that “if you don’t
stand for something you will fall for anything,”
Reading both the Christian Bible, and the Holy Qu’ran,
learning about the life and teachings of Muhammad
just as important the teachings of Jesus Christ,
there is no conflict.
Collectively the teachings are heard in many speeches
highlighted by Malcolm X. Learning about loving
your brothers and sisters of diverse cultural colors
and importantly to uplift all people especially those
that are threatened with poverty and lack of
educational equality and economic along with
I believe that through education, listening and
sharing the life challenges and accomplishments
of Malcolm X this has allowed me to look at my life
and see where I need to continue to mature
and where I need to dedicate and in some cases
rededicate my life to service in my community.
No man is perfect all fall short of perfection and total
unity with God or Allah.
El Hagg Malik El Shabazz was not a complicated man,
he was a man of purpose and passion. Malcolm X was
sometimes misunderstood, feared and quoted with a
dialogue of cultural upheaval and society turmoil.
Malcolm X’s words were fuel for the engines of freedom
and independence that where also used by Dr. Martin
Luther King, Jr., Asa Phillip Randolph, and even Nelson
Mandela. The words were the foundation for Blacks to
wake up and take ownership for their lives, not to rely
on the government for handouts, welfare and second
class citizenship. The intensity of words and actions
where varied from each individual during the turbulent
and sometimes violence of several decades of protests,
sit-ins, marches and even political maneuverings.
Blacks during these times needed Malcolm X to inspire
and motivate them, just as they needed Dr. King, Medgar
Evers, Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale.
Malcolm X with his words of, “by any means necessary,”
was not a statement of violence, but a passionate plea
for Blacks to educate themselves and to unify their
communities. Blacks to awaken to their diverse talents
and abilities to shape and change a world not in their
image, but to build a world to reach its potential for
global greatness and unstoppable global glory for all
of earth citizens.
In too many cases Blacks are feared because of the
greatness that Blacks do not even comprehend that
is inside themselves and their children. It seems that
other cultures see the potential, but there are too many
Blacks that are still in denial and blind to their abilities.
Malcolm X’s weapons were his words, the ability to
communicate, to ignite passions in Blacks that were
once thought extinguished by racism, prejudice and
Jim Crow laws. Too many Blacks forget that if it were
not for the words of Malcolm X, Blacks would be too
scared to climb out the trenches of poverty, they
would believe they could not learn and could not be
educated, they would accept the status of ignorance,
third class citizens, and even embrace the fear of hatred
thrust upon them.
Blacks are more than just property; Blacks are more
than just consumers of products that distract them
into genocidal killers because of music, clothes,
shoes and drugs. Malcolm X spoke of this before
Michael Jordan had his brand and Hip Hop was the
so called music of young Black men and women.
Before there could be any real change, Malcolm X
understood for Blacks there needed to be a
psychological challenge; this change had to be strong
enough to show Blacks that “you are as great as you
say you are.” If Blacks heard it enough, thought it
enough and said it enough with passion they would
understand not to let others define you nor let others
dictate where you can or cannot go.
Blacks have been taught to hate themselves, to hate
their culture, their color and their ability to grow past
poverty and ignorance. There needs to be a
“decolonization” in the minds of Blacks.
Malcolm X attempted to show Blacks that there needed
to be a “negotiable identity” (Eric Lincoln). This identity
is one of self, cultural and societal respect. The will
to be anything and do anything that a Black person
desires in the world.
The daughter of
Malcolm X ilyasah Al-Shabazz is a
example of a community organizer
and activist, motivational speaker,
and author of the book
”Growing Up X” 2002 and others
soon to be published.
Ilyasah promotes higher education,
interfaith dialogue, and building
bridges between cultures for young
leaders of the world. She is the founder
of Malcolm X Enterprises
and is a Trustee for The Malcolm X
and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center.
It was a great honor and humbling experience to
talk to Ms. Shabazz, to gain wisdom and a new incite of
her father Malcolm X. This should rekindle that spirit of
learning, growth and a self determination of improvement
for community, culture and personal enlightenment.