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Shabazz, Betty  

Jennifer Jensen Wallach

widow of Malcolm X and educator. Born Betty Jean Sanders in Detroit, Michigan, Shabazz was raised there in a middle-class family by her adoptive parents Lorenzo Don and Helen Malloy. As a youth she was active in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. She briefly attended the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama before enrolling in nursing school at the Brooklyn State Hospital in New York. While studying nursing Shabazz taught a class in women's health at the Nation of Islam's Temple Number 7 in Harlem. There she met the charismatic civil rights leader and Nation of Islam minister Malcolm X.

In 1958 she completed her nursing studies, converted to Islam, and married Malcolm X. They broke with the Nation of Islam in 1964, joining mainstream Islam and adopting the name “Shabazz.” The couple had six daughters, Atallah, Qubilah, Ilyasah, Gamilah, Malikah, and Malaak ...


Shabazz, Hajj Bahiyah “Betty”  

James Lance Taylor

activist, was born Betty Dean Sanders in Pinehurst, Georgia (though she later claimed Detroit, Michigan), to Shelman “Juju” Sandlin, a Philadelphia steelworker, and Ollie Mae Sanders, who conceived her out of wedlock as a teenager. Rumors of maternal neglect (Sandlin was an absent father) landed Betty in Detroit, Michigan, with her devout Catholic foster parents Helen Lowe, a grammar school teacher, and Lorenzo Don Malloy a shoemaker and proprietor. She was their only child.

Growing up with the Malloys, young Betty witnessed Helen Malloy's activism in social uplift causes through a Detroit affiliate of the National Housewives League the National Council of Negro Women and the then militant National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Betty participated in the Detroit League s youth program where she competed in debutant contests studied Negro history and affiliated with the well regarded Del Sprites social club Long ...


Shabazz, Hajj Bahiyah Betty  

There is some uncertainty about Betty Shabazz's origins and early life. Reportedly the daughter of Shelman Sandlin and a woman named Sanders, she was born Betty Sanders and grew up as a foster child in the Detroit, Michigan, home of a black family named Malloy. As a youth she was active in her local African Methodist Episcopal Church. She briefly attended Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University) in Alabama but moved to New York City to escape Southern racism and to study at the Brooklyn State Hospital School of Nursing. During her junior year, she attended the Nation of Islam's Temple No. 7 in Harlem. There she taught a women's health and hygiene class and was noticed by Malcolm X, who was a minister at the temple. He proposed to her by telephone from Detroit, and they were married in 1958.

Shabazz converted to Islam ...


Shabazz, Hajj Bahiyah Betty  

LaVonne Roberts Jackson

“Don’t you let anybody believe that being married to one man all this long time, that we didn’t have our mountains, our valleys, and our downs,” declared Hajj Bahiyah Betty Shabazz, widow of the slain black Muslim civil rights leader Malcolm X (el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz). The marriage was ended by tragedy: on 21 February 1965, while speaking at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem, Malcolm X was assassinated. Shabazz remained devoted to the legacy of her husband by involving herself in civil rights, community issues, global affairs, and human rights activism, all of which kept her in the American consciousness and media. She was a leader, a teacher, and a mentor whose motto was “find the good and praise it.”

Shabazz was born in Detroit, Michigan, and adopted by Lorenzo Don and Helen Malloy an upper middle class couple She joined the local Methodist church and attended Northern ...