Street Near Malcolm X Assassination Site May Be Renamed for Wife Betty Shabazz

Thursday, May 5, 2011  |  Updated 10:12 AM EDT
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A Washington Heights street near where civil-rights icon Malcolm X was assassinated nearly five decades ago may be renamed for his wife, Dr. Betty Shabazz.

The street renaming would be symbolic, which means a sign would be added to a pole on the corner of W. 165th Street and Broadway bearing Shabazz’s name, but the street would retain its current name.

Community Board 12 voted last month for a resolution to rename the street, but the honorary renaming still must be approved by the City Council.

The street sign, which would read Betty Shabazz Place, would be posted on the pole in front of what used to be the Audubon Ballroom and Theater, where Malcolm X was slain.

The building is now an educational center – the Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial Educational Center – that Shabazz worked tirelessly to create. She died before it was completed in 1997, but her daughters worked to carry out her dream and open the center, which they did in 2005.

One of Shabazz’s daughters, Malaak, tells the Daily News the renaming is long overdue, saying her mother was the cornerstone of the family and is a role model for young women. Malaak and her twin sister, Malikah, were born just months after their father was killed in 1965.

"He died in 1965, and she raised six young girls by herself. She did it by any means necessary,” Malaak told the paper. "I hope it’s going to inspire young women. We don’t have many heroes."
 

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