MEXICO CITY: Malcolm Shabazz, grandson of political activist Malcolm X, died in Mexico City after a bar fight, Mexican authorities said Friday. He was 28.
City prosecutors are investigating the attack that sent Shabazz to a nearby hospital where he died Thursday of blunt-force trauma injuries
Much like his grandfather, Shabazz spent his youth in and out of trouble. At 12, he set a fire at his grandmother’s apartment, causing the death of Malcolm X’s widow. After his release from juvenile detention, Shabazz was sent back to prison on attempted robbery and assault charges.
In recent years, the first male heir of X seemed to seek redemption, saying he was writing a memoir and traveling around the world speaking out against youth violence. Before his trip to Mexico, he reached out to a group of Mexican construction workers in the United States and then visited in Mexico with a leader who had been deported.
Malcolm X, who inspired books and the 1992 Hollywood movie named after him, was shot to death as he delivered a speech in a Harlem ballroom in 1965. Shabazz’s mother was only 4 at the time.
Labor activist Miguel Suarez, who was traveling with Shabazz, said his friend was beaten up at a bar near Plaza Garibaldi in an area of rough dive bars that tourists are warned against visiting.
Shabazz was born on Oct. 8, 1984, to Qubilah Shabazz, one of six daughters of Malcolm X and his wife Betty Shabazz.
In June 1997, Malcolm Shabazz set the fire at his grandmother Betty Shabazz’s home. She died from severe burns, and he served four years in juvenile detention.
Shabazz also served time on a 2002 attempted robbery conviction, and was released in 2005. In 2006, he pleaded guilty to criminal mischief for smashing the window of a Yonkers doughnut shop.
More recently, Shabazz had taken on public speaking engagements and traveled, describing himself as a human rights activist. On his Facebook profile, he said he was attending John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.