Malcolm Shabazz, the grandson of Malcolm X, was mourned in Oakland, Calif. Friday (May 17). Hundreds gathered at the Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California to mourn the slain namesake of the former Nation of Islam minister.
Police say Shabazz –who passed away on May 9–was beaten to death in downtown Mexico City, over a $1,200 bar tab.
Known as “Young Malcolm,” friends and family tributed Shabazz in prayer, song, and spoken word.
The 28-year-old was turning his life around after various legal troubles first as a juvenile and into adulthood, including setting the blaze that led to the death of his grandmother, Betty Shabazz; perhaps the most noted (and likely most tragic) of his offenses.
“If I could put into one word how I feel about Malcolm, it would be ‘inspiration,”’ said Hussein Mekki during the two-hour ceremony. “Hopefully, that will continue and he can inspire us for the rest of our lives.”
Shabazz aspired to help build mosques and schools across the nation, and was penning a memoir partly centered around lessons from Malcolm X. “He was looking for his own voice, his own place in this world,” noted Oakland community activist, Abdel Malik. “He had his struggles just like everybody else, but he eventually took on a huge responsibility in embracing his family’s legacy, that’s harder than anybody could ever imagine.”
A female reportedly lured Shabazz into the bar where he and an associate drank a dozen beers, and were told to pay $1,200. He was later attacked sustaining blows to the face, torso, and head, according to an autopsy report.
Prosecutors in Mexico City arrested the two waiters who served him.
Shabazz is survived by a young daughter. His body will be buried in New York alongside his grandparents Tuesday (May 21).
Photos: Jeff Chiu/AP/YouTube/AFP