Malcolm X’s daughter Ilyasah Shabazz breaks silence on sister Malikah Shabazz’s death

"Our family extends heartfelt gratitude for the outpouring of kindness we have received from so many well-wishers around the world," Ilyasah Shabazz says

The surviving family members of Malikah Shabazz, the late daughter of slain civil rights icon Malcolm X, are speaking out about her death less than a week after she was found unresponsive inside her Brooklyn, New York, apartment.

Shabazz’s 23-year-old daughter, Bettih Shabazz, was the one who discovered her mother’s body around 5 p.m. ET on Monday inside the home where they both lived in the Midwood neighborhood, according to the New York Daily News. The 56-year-old Malikah Shabazz was one of six daughters born to Malcolm and Betty Shabazz, who raised their daughters as devout Muslims.

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)

Malikah Shabazz’s funeral is set to take place at 10 a.m. ET on Saturday, Nov. 27, at the Islamic Cultural Center of New York, according to a flyer her older sister, Ilyasah Shabazz, posted on Facebook Friday. Malikah Shabazz will be buried the same day at the Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York.

Repast services are set to take place at the Shabazz Center on Broadway in New York City. Ilyasah Shabazz’s Facebook post included a message about Malikah Shabazz, who she described as her “beloved baby sister.”

“Our family extends heartfelt gratitude for the outpouring of kindness we have received from so many well-wishers around the world,” Ilyasah Shabazz wrote. “We ask for your continued prayers and warm thoughts as we grieve. Malikah will now rest in peace with our parents, El Hajj Malik Al Shabazz (Malcolm X) & Dr. Betty Shabazz.”

Ilyasah Shabazz indicated that her message was posted not just on her own behalf, but on behalf of the entire Shabazz family. The 59-year-old author and public speaker ended her post by saying, “Blessings and peace be unto you.”

Malikah Shabazz is survived by her five sisters, including her twin Malaak Shabazz, the aforementioned Ilyasah Shabazz, Attallah Shabazz, Qubilah Shabazz, and Gamilah Shabazz. Malcolm X’s eldest daughter, Attallah, will be presiding over Malikah Shabazz’s “Memorial Celebration of Life” in the coming weeks, according to Ilyasah Shabazz’s Facebook message.

Betty Shabazz gave birth to Malikah Shabazz and her twin sister, Malaak Shabazz, on September 30, 1965, just seven months after their father was assassinated. News of Malikah Shabazz’s death this week came just five days after two men convicted and imprisoned for Malcolm X’s murder were exonerated.

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