The Life of Malcolm X
Thursday, October 12, 7:00 p.m.
Erickson Kiva, Erickson Hall, MSU - 620 Farm Lane
Michigan State University’s Center for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives, the Michigan Humanities Council, and the Historical Society of Greater Lansing are sponsoring an appearance by Ilyasah Shabazz the daughter of Malcolm X.
Shabazz will participate in a facilitated discussion with audience members led by MSU’s John Aerni-Flessner, Assistant Professor in the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities (RCAH), on the life of Malcolm X at 7 p.m., Thursday, October 12, in Erickson Hall Kiva on the campus of MSU. The Kiva was the site of an important speech delivered by Malcolm X on January 23, 1963. The event is free.
Shabazz is touring the state as part of the Michigan Humanities Council’s Great Michigan Read, which selected Shabazz’s book X: A Novel for its 2017-2018 program. The novel, co-authored by young adult writer Kekla Magoon, is a fictionalized version of the life of a young Malcolm X, then Malcolm Little, who lived in Lansing and Mason from 1928-1940. The book, which has been called a “tale of reinvention and redemption” about one of the most important Civil Rights leaders of the 20th century, also was a 2016 Michigan Notable Book.
On the morning of Friday, October 13, Shabazz will place a simple roadside marker in memory of her grandfather, Earl Little, who was killed in 1931 under suspicious circumstances (some say killed by a streetcar, others say by the Black Legion) at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Detroit Street on Lansing’s east side.
Bill Castanier, president of the Historical Society, said, “It is important to recognize the life of Malcolm X and his formative years in Lansing. He is one of the most outspoken and important figures in the Civil Rights Movement.”
The homes in Lansing where Malcolm lived with his mother, father, and siblings have all been destroyed or torn down. The family’s first home on Lansing’s northwest side was set on fire by the Black Legion and burned to the ground in 1929.
Malcolm X often returned to the Lansing area as an adult visiting family and friends. In 1958 Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz married in Lansing.