*In an interview with CBSN reporter Vladimir Duthiers, Ilyasah Shabazz, the third of Malcolm X’s six daughters, talks about her father, his legacy, and how his voice (and message) still resonates today. Saturday marked the 50 year anniversary of the assassination of Malcolm X, and for those of us who were actually around to witness the day it happened, its hard to believe it has been that long. It still feels so recent. The civil rights leader was gunned down while giving a speech in New York City, and many (still unsubstantiated) theories point to members of his own religious circle, the Nation of Islam, from whom he had a very public split – as the finger on the trigger.
Shabazz speaks with a loving respect and adoration of her father and says many times, when he was shown in the media he was “reacting” or responding to issues around the human condition. She called her father “a man of great compassion, of integrity, a man who was being responsible for not only his people but his country.”
“He was only in his 20s when the world learned about him and 39 when he was killed — a short time in his life to have made such an enormous impact, not only in this country but around the world,” Shabazz said. “He was working all the time, looking for solutions to the human condition that would oppress its fellow brother, and ultimately looking for the oneness of humanity.”
Malcolm X was gunned down on February 21, 1965 at the Audubon Ballroom in New York City.
Shabazz told the Associated Press, “One of the great things about Malcolm is that he redefined the civil rights movement to include a human rights agenda,” she said. “So while we are focusing on integrating schools, integrating housing and all these other things, Malcolm said that we demand our human rights ‘by any means necessary.’ And that means … that we have to address these problems. That we have to identify them, and absolutely discuss them.”
With a keynote address given by veteran social and political activist Ron Daniels, Ilyasah Shabazz was joined by U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel, other elected officials and 300 people at a ceremony honoring her father on Saturday at the Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center in Harlem, formerly known as the Audubon Ballroom.
A moment of silence was held at 3:10 p.m. at the ceremony,to commemorate the time of his shooting and actor Delroy Lindo followed by reading a eulogy to Malcolm X that was written by late actor and activist Ossie Davis.
Watch the video “Witnessed: The Assassination of Malcolm X” hosted by CNN’s Anderson Cooper directly below.