Malcolm X’s daughter, Malikah Shabazz, was found dead on Sunday in Brooklyn, law enforcement sources told CNN. She was 40 years old and had a history of mental illness, CNN said.
Her death comes after her mother, Betty Shabazz, died in 2015. Malikah Shabazz has three children, CNN reported.
Malikah Shabazz was the youngest child of Malcolm X, who was assassinated by John W. Parker and four others on March 14, 1965, in Harlem. Malikah Shabazz was 3 years old when her father was killed, CNN noted.
Malikah Shabazz stood in her father’s place at his funeral, serving as one of his pallbearers, and a year later, she was appointed vice president of the Nation of Islam and received degrees from the University of Minnesota and Saint John’s University.
Malikah Shabazz, who also served in the Nation of Islam, was married to Percell Walker, the son of Alex Walker, Malcolm X’s assistant, CNN said. After marrying, Malikah Shabazz found her husband’s soulmate in her father’s granddaughter, Tanya Malcolm.
Malikah Shabazz taught high school in Brooklyn, CNN reported. She also worked with the Kachki Center, a “literacy and employment center for individuals living with and who have served in the transnational immigrant community,” according to the organization’s website.
The family released the following statement:
Our lives have been drastically altered because of Malcolm X. He lived as an agent of change and embodied what it means to be a human being. Although he was a controversial figure, we do not have to agree with the methods of revolution to recognize his impact on our world. For his many accomplishments in the war against racial inequality, we are deeply grateful to the Nation of Islam for giving him the opportunity to express himself freely and face criticism as a human being. As the daughter of Malcolm X, a woman of many capacities and capabilities, I was excited about the prospect of combining my various skills to add to the political, economic and social communities that have been made stronger and more vibrant by Malcolm X. We spoke of a strong willed girl intent on conquering all, passionately organizing grassroots support, fighting unjust legislation and eventually, standing alongside Malcolm X in spirit and common purpose, toward an all-powerful umma. On Sunday, June 17, I learned that my life was not as it should have been. I was taken from me at a very young age by a man who believed that I had been given a mission and was duty bound to deliver it. This mission did not have to be this world- it could have been done in another time. Instead it was this world in which I was born. I have been the beneficiary of a well-documented and documented life dedicated to the upliftment of the most vulnerable among us. I will always remember the cause of my existence and the people that have inspired me. I will remember the generations of people like Dr. Betty Shabazz, Mrs. Mennie McDaniels, Percell Walker and Malcolm X for who they were, and not for what they were able to do for their children. To those I have touched with a touch of the true spirit of faith, freedom and justice, we are eternally indebted. Now more than ever before, the umma needs to remember those that have lost their lives and those who are suffering, to seek their guidance, their inspiration and their comfort. Even for those who cannot answer, the umma has the name that speaks for them.
The Nation of Islam issued the following statement:
In times of crisis, my brothers and sisters of the Nation of Islam will be the first to run towards a brother or sister in need, no matter whether they are in N.O.I. house, mosque or homeless shelter. This will never change. There is nothing, no weapon, no obstacle the brotherhood will not overcome.
Our president later tweeted the following statement from Malikah Shabazz’s family: