9/28 Ilyasah Shabazz “Growing Up X”

Published: September 23rd, 2015

Category: Past Local Events

Ilyasah Shabazz, Malcolm X’s daughter and a powerful activist, author, educator, orator, and motivational speaker, will present about her recent memoir, “Growing Up X,” on September 28 at the Pugh Hall Ocora. The event will begin at 3 p.m., and the African American Studies Program will host a reception for her preceding the discussion at 2 p.m. Shabazz will sign copies of her book, “X: A Novel,” after her lecture.

Shabazz’s book discusses Malcolm X’s childhood and “follows Malcolm from his childhood to his imprisonment for theft at age twenty, when he found the faith that would lead him to forge a new path and command a voice that still resonates today.” Contact Dr. Sharon Austin (polssdw@ufl.edu) for details.

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Shabazz will also speak on September 27 at the Alachua County Library Headquarters on Main Street at 2:30 p.m. 

From Publishers Weekly:

One of Malcolm X’s six daughters, Shabazz was two when he was assassinated in February 1965. The bulk of the book covers the day-to-day specifics of Shabazz’s childhood and adolescence as a middle-class African-American Muslim girl, punctuated by small brushes with her parents’ past. Malcolm X is justifiably sentimentalized via the fragmentary memories and second-hand stories of Shabazz’s childhood perspective (including a visit to the soon-to-be Muhammad Ali’s training camp). Shabazz’s mother, Dr. Betty Shabazz, eventually a professor of health administration at Medgar Evers College, is a constant presence in the book; “Mommy” shepherds Ilyasah and the other girls through school, and herself through graduate work, with “amazing strength and perseverance.” Ilyasah’s often ordinary existence is rendered in unadorned prose (to the point of listing teachers she had in various schools or chronicling a standoff with neighborhood girls), and her insights into herself and those around her can be cursory (a rape is covered in two pages) if honestly rendered. Shabazz is working on a book about her parents, which may explain why it sometimes feels like anecdotes and information are being held back. By the time Ilyasah comes to a more nuanced understanding of her identity as the daughter of Malcolm X, Betty Shabazz is killed by a fire set by one of Ilyasah’s nephews in 1997. The book ends there, with exhortations that “Life is not a destination; it is a journey.”

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

 

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