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A Look at History: Malcolm X's daughter Qubilah Shabazz

Published: Friday, December 2, 2005

Updated: Saturday, August 9, 2008 23:08

In January of 1995, the second eldest daughter of Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz, Qubilah Bahiyah Shabazz, was indicted in Minneapolis by a federal grand jury for plotting to assassinate Minister Louis Farrakhan.

She was accused of hiring a hit man through a series of telephone conversations and interstate travels to assassinate the Nation of Islam leader. Ironically, one year beforehand, X's late widow, Betty Shabazz, spoke publically about a possible connection between the Nation of Islam and the murder of her husband, who was gunned down on February 21, 1965, while speaking at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem.

Betty Shabazz backed her daughter by claiming that the federal government was enacting a plan to entrap Qubilah. Qubilah Shabazz was later acquitted in May of 1995 and offered a settlement according to CNN news " in which they agreed to drop charges if she completed treatment for alcohol and psychiatric problems. She signed an affidavit accepting responsibility for her conduct but maintained her innocence." Farrakhan later stated that he did not believe that Shabazz had a part in the conspiracy.

Following the headlines, Qubilah returned to life outside of the public eye. This comfort did not last long, however, because in 1997, Shabazz's son, Malcolm, was accused of setting a fire that resulted in the death of his grandmother, Betty Shabazz. Betty Shabazz had suffered burns over 80% of her body and remained in intensive care for three weeks, until she died on June 23 of that year. Her grandson was later sentenced to eighteen months in juvenile detention for manslaughter.

Recently, Qubilah Shabazz has preferred to stay out of the spotlight. As of June 1997, according to CNN news, it was reported that Qubilah was living in Texas and worked at a radio station. Qubilah Shabazz's sisters have been the most visible in the recent years. Ilyasah Shabazz penned a book about her experience growing up within her famous family, entitled 'Growing Up X' in 2002.

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