For Black History Month, Ilyasah Shabazz, the daughter of famous civil rights leader Malcolm X and Ta-Nehisi Coates and author of The Beautiful Struggle, spoke to an audience at NMU.
Ilyasah Shabazz is the daughter of Malcolm X. Shabazz says her father was a loving, compassionate man who did everything he could in the cause of racial equality. She says even after his death, her mother raised her kids to persevere and to have a deep understanding that we are all brothers and sisters.
"They should be inclusive of the past that African-Americans laid the foundation for this country. That African-Americans laid the foundation for many countries," said Ilyasah Shabazz.
The second speaker, Ta-Nehisis Coates, says he grew up looking up to the work of Malcolm X and knew he, too, wanted to make a difference. Coates says civil rights leaders fought long and hard for the cause of racial equality. People should not take those liberties for granted.
He also encourages people to become leaders in the community to continue making a change in the world around them.
"The times have changed, right? The time has changed. No longer is it enough for me to be a credit to me. I have to be a credit to my country, too, right? I'm a part of a bigger community and the same is true for you guys. You are a part of something bigger, it's not enough, you have to be a credit to your country," said Coates.
People from the audience also had the opportunity to ask questions.
"I'm never intimidated, I never feel that I'm less than. I never feel like a victim. If you are in a class, raise your hand if you need to learn something. Don't be afraid to give a presentation. We are the same. The only judge is God," Shabazz said.