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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.


Kevin Lavery served as a general assignment reporter and occasional local host for Morning Edition and All Things Considered before retiring in 2023.
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