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Activist and author Ilyasah Shabazz, the daughter of civil rights icon Malcolm X, appeared on “Good Morning America” this week to discuss her late father’s enduring legacy in honor of Black History Month. She shared an incredible statistic — nowadays, Malcolm X is quoted 53,700 times per hour on social media.
“This is the clearest evidence that young people want to know who Malcolm is,” Shabazz said. And while she is pleased that so many people are interested in his “wisdom and truth,” she feels strongly that his efforts (and those of others in the civil rights movement) need to be taught to all children from a young age.
“I think we need a better education curriculum that’s based on historical facts, that’s based on truth, so that we understand that American history, for example, is Black history,” she said in the interview.
“If the massacres in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Rosewood, Florida, were taught in high school U.S. history classes to be as American as the Boston Tea Party, for example, more citizens would understand the need for reparations,” she continued. “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 responded, “I feel like I should say ‘amen’ after that.”
Shabazz shared the interview on Twitter:
— GMA3: What You Need To Know (@ABCGMA3) February 2, 2021
Shabazz’s new novel, “The Awakening of Malcolm X,” which is co-authored by 2019 Coretta Scott King-John Steptoe Award-winning author Tiffany D. Jackson, was inspired by her father’s upbringing — in particular his adolescent years.
“Education matters. Character matters,” she said.
Black History Month runs for the whole of February, and this year’s theme is “The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity,” chosen by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History.