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Daughter Of Malcolm X Cuts Off Interview When Asked About Dad’s Reported Bisexuality

The daughter of Malcolm X cut off an interview Wednesday when she was asked about claims that her famous dad was a closet bisexual.

The famous leader’s daughter Ilyasa Shabazz was interviewed by NPR’s Michel Martin about a controversial book by Manning Marables “Malcolm X: A Life Of Reinvention.”

According to Marables, X was more than just a leader and devout follower of the nation of Islam; he was actually a bisexual who’d previously had a relationship with a middle aged white man.

On Wednesday Michel Martin conducted an interview with Shabazz via phone who grew so perturbed by his questions about the book that she ended the interview early.

An excerpt of the transcript reads,

MARTIN: […] So is it possible that perhaps Dr. Marable had access to information that you did not? Or that was just uncomfortable for you to explore because…

Ms. SHABAZZ: Not at all. I mean, listen, I have a lot of friends who are gay. I have, you know, I hate to say, but some of my best friends are gay. OK? So, if my father experienced persons of the same sex before he became the icon Malcolm X, you know, then that would be his experience. But he would’ve spoken about it. And I think because there were so many other allegations, especially that my mother cheated on him with his best friend when he was in Africa. If we even consider that the FBI looked for a very long time for something to get on my father, something to discredit or to tarnish his image, then certainly they would’ve found the information.

And even Dr. Marable puts in his book that the FBI files indicated that Malcolm was a saint. And so I’m just certain that our government would have certainly found information over Dr. Marable…

[…]So, you know, if my father had these, you know, relationship with a man, if my mother had extramarital affairs, you know, I don’t have a problem with accepting that my parents aren’t perfect. They are human beings. But that is not the case and I think it’s unfortunate that you would have scholarly men put this kind of stuff in a book for sensationalism. And if you read the book, it seemed that a lot of these allegations contradict the good things that he did.


Later in the interview an obviously irritated Shabazz has had enough of Michel’s questions and cuts him off even when he tries to move on to the topic of her father’s death.

MARTIN: The only question I would have for you about this, and I do want to hear more about you and what you’re doing and what is important to you right now is Dr. Marable makes the point in the book that at least some people who he believes were responsible for your father’s death have never been brought to justice. Do you share that point of view and what do you think should happen now?

Ms. SHABAZZ: I cannot tell you, Michel, OK? Because right now I’m a little annoyed by this discussion because this is not what I agreed to. I can tell you that if they did not find out who killed my father, then most certainly this person in New Jersey, I can’t even think of his name right now, Mustafa Shabazz, if he’s one of the persons that pulled the trigger, then absolutely. I think he should be, you know, brought to justice.

MARTIN: We actually had planned to continue our conversation and to discuss other issues of interest with Ms. Shabazz about her life and current work, but she decided to end the interview. We confess that we are puzzled by that. We think we were clear that we wanted to speak about the book as well as about her life and current work. We would still like to have that conversation and we have extended another invitation by email.

For the interview in its entirety, click here.


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