Betty Shabazz

Betty Shabazz (born Betty Dean Sanders;[2] May 28, 1934[lower-alpha 1] – June 23, 1997), also known as Betty X, was an American educator and civil rights advocate. She was married to Malcolm X.

Betty Shabazz
Born
Betty Dean Sanders

(1934-05-28)May 28, 1934[lower-alpha 1]
DiedJune 23, 1997(1997-06-23) (aged 63)
New York City, U.S.
Resting placeFerncliff Cemetery
Other namesBetty X
EducationTuskegee University
Brooklyn State College School of Nursing
Spouse(s)
(m. 1958; died 1965)
Children6, including Attallah, Qubilah, and Ilyasah
RelativesMalcolm Shabazz (grandson)[1]

Shabazz grew up in Detroit, Michigan, where her foster parents largely sheltered her from racism. She attended the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, where she had her first encounters with racism. Unhappy with the situation in Alabama, she moved to New York City, where she became a nurse. It was there that she met Malcolm X and, in 1956, joined the Nation of Islam. The couple married in 1958.

Along with her husband, Shabazz left the Nation of Islam in 1964. She witnessed his assassination the following year. Left with the responsibility of raising six daughters as a widow, Shabazz pursued higher education, and went to work at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, New York.

Following the 1995 arrest of her daughter Qubilah for allegedly conspiring to murder Louis Farrakhan, Shabazz took in her ten-year-old grandson Malcolm. In 1997, he set fire to her apartment. Shabazz suffered severe burns and died three weeks later as a result of her injuries.


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