“Experiencing my parents’ transitions has afforded me understanding of human mortality and purpose. I recognize and appreciate that each of our lives will end, and that the meaningful accomplishments during our lifetimes do not include acquiring power, land, or gold. But rather, the only achievements that will survive eternity and will honor our memories are humble and dedicated service to God, which are the good deeds that uplift the human family.”
These are the words of Ilyasah Al-Shabazz, daughter of human rights activists, the late Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz. Ilyasah wears many service-oriented hats: she is an activist, a community organizer, and a motivational speaker. Her formal education includes a MS degree in Education and Human Resource Development. Her website states:
“Ilyasah promotes higher education, interfaith dialogue, and building bridges between cultures for young leaders of the world. She produces The WAKE-UP Tour™, an exclusive youth empowerment program, and participates on international humanitarian delegations. She is the founder of Malcolm X Enterprises and is a Trustee for The Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center. Ilyasah serves on the Board of the Harlem Symphony Orchestra, is a member of the Arts Committee for the New York City Opera at Lincoln Center, and a Project Advisor for the PBS award-winning documentary, Prince Among Slaves.”
Whew. Those are a lot of hats.
Ilyasah is also an author. In addition to Growing Up X (Random House), she has written a children’s book, Malcolm Little: The Boy Who Grew Up to Become Malcolm X, illustrated by A.G. Ford (Atheneum, January 2014). Reviews of the book include the following:
“The author of this handsome, inspirational offering is Malcolm X’s daughter–an educator, activist, and motivational speaker. . . . Ford’s oil paintings are accomplished and historically accurate.” (School Library Journal, January 2014)
Ilyasah currently resides in Westchester County of New York. On this, the first day of 28 Days Later, we celebrate this very meaningful contribution to children’s literature by Ilyasah Shabazz.
*Author photo from beenetworknews.com/Chloe Feigen PR