Birthday: November 16, 1958 Black Celebrities Born on November 16
Age: 62 Years, 62 Year Old Females
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Born in: Queens, New York City, New York
Famous as: Malcolm X's Daughter
father: Malcolm X
mother: Betty Shabazz
siblings: Gamilah Lumumba Shabazz, Ilyasah Shabazz, Malaak Shabazz, Malikah Shabazz, Qubilah Shabazz
City: New York City
U.S. State: New Yorkers, African-American From New Yorkers
education: United Nations International School, Briarcliff College
Who is Attallah Shabazz?
Attallah Shabazz is an American author, motivational speaker, and actress. She is the oldest daughter of Malcolm X who was assassinated on February 21, 1965, at the ‘Audubon Ballroom’ in Manhattan, New York City. She witnessed her father’s assassination along with her sisters and mother. Though she was just six years old at the time of Malcolm X's assassination, she told journalist Gabe Pressman in 2005 that she has vivid memories of the fateful day. Shabazz is known for her works as a writer. In the late 1970s, she collaborated with Yolanda King and wrote a play titled ‘Stepping into Tomorrow’ which explores the story of six friends. The play gave rise to an eight-member theatre troupe called ‘Nucleus’ that went on to perform in about 50 cities a year. In 2002, she was requested to serve as an Ambassador-at-Large by the then Belizean Prime Minister Said Wilbert Musa.
Childhood & Early Life
Attallah Shabazz was born on November 16, 1958, in Queens, New York City, New York, to Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz. She was raised in Mount Vernon, New York, in a neighborhood known for its racial integration.
In February 1965, her younger sister Qubilah Shabazz was woken up by a fire in the middle of the night. She managed to wake all her family members and they managed to escape and spent the night at a friend's house. Attallah would later recall the ordeal in an interview in 1989.
On February 21, 1965, she was with her sisters and mother at the ‘Audubon Ballroom’ where her father was assassinated by unknown men. Though she was just six years old at the time, she would later tell journalist Gabe Pressman that she has vivid memories of her father's murder.
She went to the ‘Islamic Cultural Center of New York’ where she received religious education. When she was quite young, she joined a social club called ‘Jack and Jill,’ where children of well-off African Americans socialized.
During her teenage years, she went to the ‘United Nations International School’ (UNIS) in Manhattan. After graduating from high school, she went to ‘Briarcliff College’ in Briarcliff Manor, New York, where she studied international law.
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Attallah Shabazz met Martin Luther King Jr.'s daughter Yolanda King in 1979 when ‘Ebony’ magazine's photographer Moneta Sleet Jr. brought them together for a photo shoot. After meeting Yolanda King, she realized that they both had many things in common, and they both were in their early 20s at the time.
Subsequently, Shabazz joined King for a lecture tour. The two then came up with a play titled ‘Stepping into Tomorrow,’ which was aimed at teenagers. The play narrated the story of six friends who meet again at a high school reunion after a gap of ten years.
‘Stepping into Tomorrow’ gave rise to an eight-member New York and Los Angeles-based theatre troupe called ‘Nucleus.’ In 1983, Shabazz was named in the list of ‘Fifty Young Leaders of the Future’ by ‘Ebony’ magazine. In the mid-1980s, Shabazz joined hands with King to write another play titled ‘Of One Mind.’ Shabazz's collaboration with Yolanda King lasted for about 12 years.
Shabazz made her first TV appearance in 1987, at the 19th ‘Annual NAACP Image Awards,’ which was aired on television on January 6, 1987. In 1994, she signed a contract to write her memoirs; the book received positive reviews upon its publication. In 1994, she was also seen in one of the episodes of a TV documentary series titled ‘American Experience.’
She made her film debut in 1995 when she was cast to play a minor role in Desmond Nakano-directed drama-thriller ‘White Man's Burden.’ In 1998, she was seen in a sci-fi television movie titled ‘Brave New World.’
In May 2000, American journalist and media personality Myron Leon 'Mike' Wallace brought together Louis Farrakhan and Shabazz for an interview for ‘CBS’ network's television program ‘60 Minutes.’ The interview caught the attention of many as Shabazz’s sister and mother had previously accused Farrakhan of plotting Malcolm X’s assassination.
In 2002, she was selected by the then Belizean Prime Minister Said Wilbert Musa to serve as Ambassador-at-Large. In 2005, she made a guest appearance in one of the episodes of the popular American late-night talk show ‘Tavis Smiley.’ The following year, she was seen at the 37th ‘NAACP Image Awards.’
Attallah Shabazz is a well-known speaker as wel. In February 2006, she spoke at the funeral of Martin Luther King Jr.'s wife Coretta Scott King. In June 2016, she spoke at the funeral of world-renowned boxer Muhammad Ali. Shabazz's father and Ali were good friends before Ali decided to sever his ties with Malcolm X when Malcolm left the ‘Nation of Islam’ (NOI). Ali, who later left the ‘NOI’ himself, regretted for having turned his back on Malcolm X. Ali reconciled with Shabazz in 2001, when she served as a consultant for Michael Mann-directed biographical sports drama film ‘Ali.’
Family & Personal Life
Attallah Shabazz’s father, Malcolm X, was a minister and human rights activist. Her mother, Betty, was an educator and civil rights advocate. Betty was killed in June 1997, when Shabazz’s nephew Malcolm Latif Shabazz, 12, set Betty's apartment on fire. Malcolm himself was murdered in Mexico City at the age of 28.
Attallah Shabazz’s younger sister Qubilah Bahiyah Shabazz was arrested in 1995 when she was accused of hiring an assassin to murder Louis Farrakhan. She later accepted a plea agreement according to which she was required to undergo counseling and treatment for alcohol and drug abuse. Apart from Qubilah, Attallah Shabazz has four other siblings, namely Ilyasah, Gamilah, Malikah, and Malaak. Ilyasah is a well-known author, community organizer, motivational speaker, and social activist.