Remembering Malcolm X on his 90th birthday

Renowned iconic leader Malcolm X – El-Hajj El Malik Shabazz would have turned 90 years old on May 19th, 2015 if he was alive

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

One of the most influential African-American men in history, Malcolm X, would have turned 90-years-old on May 19 2015 if he was still alive.

The 90th anniversary of the birth of Malcolm X, was celebrated at The Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center in Harlem, New York

His daughters Ilyasah, Malaak and Gamilah Shabazz were among those who attended the ceremony at the Shabazz Center.

One week after his home was firebombed, Malcolm X was shot to death by Nation of Islam members while speaking at a rally of his organisation in New York City on February 21, 1965. 

Malcolm X was murdered 50 years ago but questions surrounding his  assassination have not yet been answered. This has contributed to an atmosphere of suspicion and distrust between law enforcement and the black community in the USA. 

A blue light shone onto the exact spot where he was gunned down while delivering a lecture.

The commemoration started with a moment of silence before a crowd of more than 250 people sang Lift Every Voice and Sing, often referred to as the Black American National Anthem.

His daughter, Ilyasah Shabazz said “Malcolm X was a man who continually evolved, who continually transformed himself." 

She said she hoped younger generations would understand through his legacy that "black lives matter" - a reference to the recent rallying cry of protesters seeking justice for the victims of police violence in the US.

Initially a prominent figure in Elijah Muhammad's Nation of Islam movement, Malcolm X broke away from the group in 1964 and embraced Sunni Islam, adopting the name el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz.

On his 90th birthday, 50 years after his murder, Malcolm X’s assassination remains an even still present in the US’ historical memory.

TRTWorld and agencies