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Malcolm X’s Daughter Malikah Shabazz, 56, Found Dead In Her New York Apartment; Bernice King Offers Condolences: ‘Deeply Saddened’

One of Malcolm X’s youngest daughters, Malikah Shabazz, was found dead on Monday, Nov. 22, in her New York apartment. Her death is surely felt throughout Black America, as many have watched for years the family struggle to reconcile the loss of her iconic father.

Shabazz’s 23-year-old daughter found her lying unresponsive in the Brooklyn apartment. The NYPD reported that the 56-year-old appears to have died of natural causes, a determination which has yet to be confirmed by a medical examiner. 

Betty Shabazz (fourth from left) and daughters Malaak, Malikah, Ilyasah and Qubilah (left to right) attend the “Malcolm X” New York City Premiere on November 16, 1992 at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

Shabazz appears to have had a pre-existing sickness that could have contributed to her death, according to NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea. 

After speaking with those close to Shabazz, he says, according to The Guardian, “At this point in time, working with other authorities, the medical examiner, and speaking to the family, she had been ill for a period of time, and at this point, nothing appears suspicious.”

Shabazz was not present when her father, who formally changed his name to El-Hajj Malik Shabazz, was assassinated in 1965. Her mother, the late Dr. Betty Shabazz who was killed in an apartment fire in 1997, was pregnant with her and her twin sister, Malaak, when their father was killed. The two were named after their dad as a tribute to his life.  

Fellow daughter of the movement, as the Shabazz and King children have been dubbed, Bernice King, took to Twitter to pay her respects. 

She captioned posting a personal picture of Shabazz, her mother, and twin, “I’m deeply saddened by the death of #MalikahShabazz. 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.”

This news comes only days after two men were exonerated for her father’s death. The Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. worked with the Innocence Project to clear the names of Muhammad A. Aziz, 83, and Khalil Islam, who died in 2009. 

Her family has not publicly given a statement on her untimely demise.


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