Malcolm X’s daughter found dead

The body of Malikah Shabazz, a daughter of Malcolm X, was discovered inside her New York home, just days after two men were exonerated in the 1965 assassination of the Black civil rights leader

One of Malcolm X’s daughters has been found dead just days after two men were exonerated for his murder after spending decades in prison.

The body of Malikah Shabazz, 56, was discovered inside her Brooklyn, New York home on Monday afternoon, said police.

Her 23-year-old daughter is said to have made the tragic discovery, and the NYPD added that the death does not appear suspicious.

Police officials told NBC New York that Ms Shabazz was found unconscious and unresponsive just before 4.30pm local time.

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Malikah and her twin sister Malaak never met their 39-year-old father, as they were born seven months after the Black civil rights leader was assassinated in 1965.


Black civil rights leader Malcolm X was assassinated in 1965 ( Image: Michael Ochs Archives)
He was shot 16 times in front of a crowd of 400 people at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem, including his pregnant wife, Dr Betty Shabazz, and three of their daughters.

The daughter of fellow civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr., Bernice King, sent her condolences via social media following Ms Shabazz’s death.

Ms King said on Twitter: “I’m deeply saddened by the death of Malikah Shabazz. My heart goes out to her family, the descendants of Dr. Betty Shabazz and Malcolm X.

“Dr. Shabazz was pregnant with Malikah and her twin sister, Malaak, when Brother Malcolm was assassinated. Be at peace, Malikah.”

A coroner carried out an investigation at the Ms Shabazz’s home and said the death was not deemed suspicious.

Her cause of death has not yet been established.

Ms Shabazz had a number of brushes with the law over the years.

In 2011, she pleaded guilty to stealing the identity of an elderly family friend in North Carolina and racking up more than $55,000 in credit card charges.

Her death comes days after two men were exonerated in the 1965 assassination of her father.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance apologised for what he called “violations of the law and the public trust”.

Last Thursday, applause broke out in the courtroom as New York State Supreme Court Justice Ellen Biben vacated the convictions against Muhammad Aziz, 83, and Khalil Islam, who died in 2009.

Both were released from prison on parole in the 1980s.

Mr Aziz told the court that his wrongful conviction had stemmed from “a process that was corrupt to its core, one that is all too familiar to Black people in 2021,” and said he hoped the system would take “responsibility for the immeasurable harm it caused me.”

Two of Mr Islam’s sons who were also present in court, Ameen and Shahid Johnson, told reporters outside the courthouse that they felt “bittersweet” about the exoneration because it could not replace everything their family had lost.