Malcolm X and his wife, Betty X, had six daughters. The oldest of them, Attallah, was born in 1958, the year the couple got married. They welcomed Qubilah in 1960 and Ilyasah in 1962. Gamilah Lumumba, the fourth daughter who is named after former Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser and former Congolese Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba, was born in 1964. Betty gave birth to the twins Malikah and Malaak after the murder of her husband in early 1965. Although the renowned civil rights activist had six children, reportedly only Attallah has clear memories of him. Malcolm’s children have upheld the notions of equality he propagated during his lifetime, as National Geographic’s period drama series ‘Genius: MLK/X’ depicts!
Attallah Shabazz is an Eminent Speaker Today
Attallah Shabazz is a multifaceted personality who has earned fame as an artist, actress, author, philanthropist, diplomat, and motivational speaker. Unlike her father, Attallah didn’t venture into the realm of politics but embraced the field of arts. “Actually, the arts chose me, from the age of 3 or 4. I’m a good sculptor. Whether it’s writing, theater or film, they’re a way for me to use my passion, for laughing, thinking, feeling hugged,” she told Los Angeles Times. Since 2002, she has been serving as Ambassador-at-Large to Belize, a country on the eastern coast of Central America. For nearly forty years, she has been delivering keynote addresses at venues on several continents.
Most recently, Attallah has been involved in the operation of “Everybody Has One,” a consulting firm founded by her. In August 2023, the firm signed with two schools in Newark, New Jersey, to support the students with study-abroad programs and international research projects while providing “global education enhancement consultancy.” Attallah became an honorary member of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority in November 2021. She is extremely private about her personal and familial life. She continues to engage with the youth of marginalized communities. In March 2024, Attallah will lead a delegation in Belize to study the “food environment” of the country and examine “food apartheid.”
Qubilah Shabazz is Running a Clothing Line Nowadays
Malcolm X and Betty X’s second daughter Qubilah Shabazz was arrested by the FBI in 1995 on charges of using telephones and crossing state lines in the plot to kill Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam. She then accepted a plea agreement, under which she had to undergo psychological counseling and treatment for her substance use disorders. In 1997, her son Malcolm pleaded guilty to the juvenile equivalents of arson and manslaughter after setting fire to his grandmother Betty’s apartment. Betty sustained severe injuries and eventually died.
Malcolm died in 2013 after sustaining injuries reportedly during a fight in Mexico. In 2018, Qubilah launched a clothing line called “Malcolm X Legacy” along with her sisters. The brand releases sweatshirts, hats, and T-shirts bearing slogans of Malcolm X. “My father was always very clean-cut: suit and tie, wingtip shoes. He really never let his hair down. […] Our online store is urban wear, but we’re hoping to segue into more fashionable items,” she told The New Yorker at the time.
In 2023, Qubilah appeared at the site of the former Audubon Ballroom in Manhattan, New York, where her father was killed, with her sister Ilyasah Shabazz to announce that their family was suing the CIA, FBI, New York Police Department, etc. for $100 million due to their alleged involvement in X’s assassination. She is believed to be a New York resident.
Ilyasah Shabazz is a Renowned Author and Activist Today
Ilyasah Shabazz, the third daughter, is a celebrated author and activist. She is the writer/co-writer of ‘Growing Up X: A Memoir by the Daughter of Malcolm X,’ ‘Malcolm Little: The Boy Who Grew Up to Become Malcolm X,’ ‘X: A Novel,’ ‘Betty Before X,’ and ‘The Awakening of Malcolm X.’ She is the chairperson of the Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center AKA The Shabazz Center. The organization conducts various events, ranging from book readings to film screenings, at the center located at 3940 Broadway and West 165th Street in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City.
Soo much love in one room! Me, my Mom, and Aunt Maya backstage at The Million Man March, circa 1990s.
— Dr. Ilyasah Shabazz (@ilyasahShabazz) March 10, 2021
Until 2023, Ilyasah served as an adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, where she taught within the departments of Police Law and Science, Anthropology, and Africana Studies. In September 2023, she was recognized as a “Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Fellow” by Worcester State University, Massachusetts. The university conferred her with a degree of Doctor of Humane Letters for her services to public, education, and arts. She teaches a course titled “We The People” at the educational institution.
Ilyasah is currently developing a television series based on her books ‘X: A Novel’ and ‘The Awakening of Malcolm X’ with Sony Pictures Television’s TriStar. The credits of her production company Ilyasah Shabazz Enterprises, include the PBS film ‘Prince Among Slaves’ and the radio podcast series ‘Reconstruction of Malcolm X.’ Since the start of the year, she has addressed several audiences in venues such as Western Michigan University and Framingham State University. Ilyasah is at the forefront of the legal battle against federal and New York agencies concerning X’s assassination as the co-administrator of his estate. As of writing, she is a resident of New Rochelle in the Big Apple.
Gamilah Lumumba Shabazz is Now Leading a Private Life
Gamilah Lumumba Shabazz, the fourth daughter of Malcolm and Betty, is the most private among all of the Shabazz sisters. She joined her sisters to launch the “Malcolm X Legacy” clothing line in 2018. In 2021, Gamilah and her siblings released a letter written by former undercover NYPD officer Raymond Wood. On his deathbed, Wood wrote that the NYPD and FBI conspired to have Malcolm killed. Otherwise, Gamilah has mostly stayed away from the spotlight and chosen to keep her personal life private.
Malikah Shabazz Sadly Died of Natural Causes in 2021
Malikah Shabazz was found dead in her house in Brooklyn, New York, in November 2021 at the age of 56. Her daughter found her unresponsive on her living room floor. “This is a natural death of undetermined cause and there is no suspicion of foul play,” said a spokesperson for the NYC Office of Chief Medical Examiner, who also added that the cause of death was determined while “honoring next of kin’s religious objection to autopsy pursuant to NYS public health law.” Then-Police Commissioner Dermot Shea added that Malikah had been “ill for a period of time.”
Malikah was involved in a legal dispute with her sisters concerning the estate of their mother Betty. In a letter to a judge, she wrote that she had been subject to “overly dramatic bullying” with regard to a settlement. Years after the legal dispute, she joined her sisters to launch the clothing line in the name of their father. “She loved her family, missed her mother terribly, missed her father terribly, and like any other young person that loses their parents, had a difficult time dealing with that,” her lawyer Lori Anne Douglass said after her demise, as per The New York Times.
Malaak Shabazz is a Human Rights Activist and Speaker Today
Malaak Shabazz is a human rights activist and an eminent speaker like her elder sisters Attallah and Ilyasah. She is a co-chair of a United Nations subcommittee on racism. Malaak has traveled extensively as an activist. “I’ve been to Africa, the holding cells in Ghana, and the 125th Berlin Congo Conference. This is the final result of what I had been professionally studying and speaking on abroad,” she said while touring Ferris State University’s Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia and emphasizing the significance of the artifacts on display. She is a regular presence in the media to celebrate the life of Malcolm X. Last year, Malaak joined Ilyasah to announce the family’s intention to sue federal and New York agencies as detailed above.