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Malcolm X's Daughter Speaks In New Rochelle About Her New Novel

Francine Lucidon, owner of The Voracious Reader, left, with author Ilyasah Al-Shabazz.
Francine Lucidon, owner of The Voracious Reader, left, with author Ilyasah Al-Shabazz. Photo Credit: Theresa Kump Leghorn
Ilyasah Al-Shabazz read an excerpt from her new book, "X: A Novel," about her father's teenage years.
Ilyasah Al-Shabazz read an excerpt from her new book, "X: A Novel," about her father's teenage years. Photo Credit: Jeanne Muchnick

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- She's a community organizer, activist, motivational speaker, mentor, and author, but at Alvin & Friends restaurant on Thursday, Ilyasah Al-Shabazz, the third daughter of human rights activist Malcolm X, felt more like a neighbor.

As part of a partnership with Larchmont's Voracious Reader Bookstore , Al-Shabazz, a New Rochelle resident, spoke to an intimate group about her latest book, "X: A Novel," a young adult story that follows her famous father from ages 14 to 19.

Though fiction, Al-Shabazz said it is based on fact, including many meetings and conversations with her aunts and uncles. "This book is Malcolm X before the X," she said. "This is him trying to find himself."

She hopes it will serve as a tool for young people to find their own power and recognize their own struggles

Her ultimate goal is to try to preserve black history and to give honor to those who made the ultimate sacrifice, including her father. In 1965 at age 39, shortly after repudiating the Nation of Islam, he was assassinated by three of its members.

There's a whole African Holocaust no one wants to talk about, she said, including the largest forced migration in the history of mankind.

Al-Shabazz is also the author of "The Diary of Malcolm X" and "The Boy Who Grew Up to Become Malcolm X" but said her next book would be about feminism and her mother, Betty Shabazz.

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