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History

Shabazz Completes Mecca to Lansing At Site of Her Grandfather's Murder

After addressing a standing-room only crowd at Michigan State University Thursday evening, the daughter of civil rights icon Malcolm X made a personal journey in Lansing Friday morning.

 

Ilyasah Shabazz is the author of “X: A Novel,” the subject of this year’s Great Michigan Read.  She spoke Thursday night in the same room at MSU her father did in 1963. 

 

On Friday, Shabazz laid a wreath at a simple wooden X at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Detroit Street...the site where her grandfather, the Reverend Earl Little, was murdered in 1931.

 

(Shabazz): “You know, it’s just a surreal moment to be here where our grandfather had his last breath.”

 

(Lavery):   “Have you been here before?”

 

(Shabazz):   “I’ve never been here.  I didn’t even know this was the location.  So, it makes my trip even more meaningful.”

 

Malcolm X suffered several other tragedies while growing up in Lansing. 

 

A white mob burned his family out of their first home when he was four years old.  His mother was later institutionalized, which divided her children among various foster homes.

 

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