Ilyasah Shabazz, third daughter of civil rights icon Malcom X, made a virtual appearance on Good Morning America on Monday to discuss her late father’s lasting legacy in honor of Black History Month. A community organizer, activist, and author, Ilyasah began by noting how there’s been a heightened interest in her father’s beliefs and endeavors amid ongoing protests for racial justice and evidenced by the fact that he’s estimated to be quoted more than 50,000 times per hour on social media these days. While certainly proud that many young people have been newly enlightened to his “wisdom and truth,” Ilyasah detailed how school curriculums should be drastically altered so that students learn early on about the fierce efforts of Malcom X and other prominent leaders in the civil rights movement.
It’s crucial for citizens to understand that “American history is also Black history,” Ilyasah said. “If the massacres in Tulsa, OK, and Rosewood, FL, were taught in high school US history classes to be as American as the Boston Tea Party, for example, more citizens would understand the need for reparations. If in world history classes, the impressive kingdoms of Ghana, of Benin, West Africa, got even half the attention that ancient Greece and Rome do, Americans might appreciate the complexity of Black civilizations as the cradle of the most thriving civilizations that ever existed in mankind, right in Africa.” GMA host T. J. Holmes said it best when he responded, “I feel like I should say ‘amen’ after that.”
Ilyasah went on to reflect on her father’s upbringing, which is the subject of her latest novel, The Awakening of Malcom X. Watch her entire interview above, and then learn more about her new book here.