Malcolm X Daughter Outraged at Nicki Minaj Depiction of her Father’s Legacy

| February 18, 2014 | 1 Comment

 Screenshot 2014-02-18 03.00.29

Even after rapper Nicki Minaj issued an heartfelt apology to the family of slain leader Malcolm X, it may have fell of deaf ears with at least one family member because one of his kids has spoken out about her displeasure with Nicki Minaj’s choice of artwork and lyrical content in a recent song promotion.

According to The New York Daily News, Ilyasah Shabazz is very offended that Nicki would use the iconic 1964 image of Malcolm X standing at a window holding an M1 Carbine for Ebony magazine as her cover art for her new single “Lookin A– N—-”

“Ms. Minaj’s artwork for her single does not depict the truth of Malcolm X’s legacy, is completely disrespectful, and in no way is endorsed by my family,” Ilyasah Shabazz told The New York Daily News Friday, two days after the controversy.

Shabazz, one of six children by Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz, called on parents and educators Friday to teach their children about the country’s civil rights history. In doing so, it is important to understand that the image of Malcolm X holding the M1 Carbin illustrates self-defense because at the time the leader feared for his life. It was not for the purpose of male bravado or gratuitous violence.

Chris Moore, a historian at the Schomburg Center for Research and Black Culture in Harlem, where much of the civil rights leader’s manuscripts are housed, called Minaj “wrong-headed” for her decision to use the historic image.

According to The New York Daily News, Harlem community organizer Iesha Sekou, who operates student workshops through Street Corner Resources out of Harlem Renaissance High School, was also appalled by the use of the image. She said some students at the school didn’t think the imagery and racial slur were offensive.

“I think it’s horrible,” she said. “Look at all of the work that Malcolm X did. For her to use his image and the language that she used, it’s major disrespect.”

Shabazz has undoubtedly seen and heard many things over the years that would seem to tarnish or desecrate her father’s legacy, but this has to be among the most excessively foolish. “It is our family’s hope that the true legacy and context of Malcolm X’s life continues to be shared with people from all walks of life in a positive manner that helps promote the goals and ideals for which Malcolm X so passionately advocated,” said Shabazz, author of the memoir “Growing Up X” and a motivational speaker.

Hopefully, Nicki Minaj will use this mistake as a learning tool and approach the making of her future music more responsibly.

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  1. Sherri Allen says:

    Did she really think she could get away with disrespecting this great man? I’m so done with Minaj aka cartoon character

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