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Malcolm X Remembered, 50 Years After His Death

  • VOA News

Ilyasah Shabazz, daughter of Malcolm X, speaks at a New York gathering about her father and family on the anniversary of his death, Feb. 21, 2015.

Ilyasah Shabazz, daughter of Malcolm X, speaks at a New York gathering about her father and family on the anniversary of his death, Feb. 21, 2015.

Several hundred people gathered Saturday in New York City to remember controversial civil rights leader Malcolm X, 50 years to the day after his assassination at age 39.

FILE - Malcolm X addresses reporters at what was then known as the Park Sheraton Hotel in New York, March 12, 1964.

FILE - Malcolm X addresses reporters at what was then known as the Park Sheraton Hotel in New York, March 12, 1964.

One of Malcolm X's daughters, elected officials and other civil rights figures were among those who attended. Speeches were given and a moment of silence was observed in the building where he was shot in 1965, which has been renamed for Malcolm X and his wife.

Malcolm X, born in Omaha, Nebraska, advocated black self-determination and rejected integration, putting him at odds with other civil rights leaders, including the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

After a troubled childhood, Malcolm X went to prison, where he encountered Muslims and transformed his life through education and a religious conversion. He also changed his name from Malcolm Little to Malcolm X.

A mural depicting the lives of Malcolm X and his family is the backdrop for artist Jamel Hudson as he sings at a ceremony held on the 50th anniversary of the civil rights leader's slaying in New York's Harlem section, Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015.

A mural depicting the lives of Malcolm X and his family is the backdrop for artist Jamel Hudson as he sings at a ceremony held on the 50th anniversary of the civil rights leader's slaying in New York's Harlem section, Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015.

For 12 years, he was the spokesman for the Nation of Islam, a black Muslim group that he broke with shortly before his death.

Malcolm X has been the subject of a film by director Spike Lee and an autobiography co-written by Alex Haley.

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