Attallah Shabazz Speaker Profile
Attallah Shabazz Booking Agent Information
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Attallah Shabazz Biography
Attallah Shabazz is the eldest daughter of Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz. She is an actress, author, ambassador, and motivational speaker. In 1979, when she was 20, Shabazz met 23-year-old Yolanda King, the first-born child of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King, when photographer ...>>Read More
Attallah Shabazz is the eldest daughter of Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz. She is an actress, author, ambassador, and motivational speaker.
In 1979, when she was 20, Shabazz met 23-year-old Yolanda King, the first-born child of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King, when photographer Moneta Sleet, Jr., of Ebony brought them together for a photo shoot. Both women were anxious before the meeting, worried that the bad feelings between their fathers might color their relationship. Instead, they found that they liked one another, and had many things in common beside being the eldest children of civil rights martyrs: both lived in New York City, both were aspiring actresses, and their birthdays were one day apart. They shared an interest in activism and had a similar outlook toward the future of African Americans.
Within a few months, King and Shabazz had gone on a joint lecture tour and co-wrote a play, Stepping into Tomorrow. The play, which was aimed at teenage audiences, was about six friends who gathered for a ten-year high school reunion. It dealt with matters such as drugs, unwed mothers, peer pressure, and suicide. A 1987 article in the Los Angeles Times felt Stepping into Tomorrow fulfilled Shabazz’s hope that the play would be “socially uplifting and [help] give direction”, but added that “it has also been dismissed as preachy and simplistic by some critics who say the problems are solved too neatly, ultimately giving audiences—especially the young students it targets—an unrealistic picture.” In 1989, Rolling Stone wrote that Stepping into Tomorrow “sounds far more preachy than it actually is…. [I]t’s also a lively rap session laced with self-deprecating wit.”
Stepping into Tomorrow quickly grew into a collaboration called Nucleus, an eight-member theatre troupe based in New York and Los Angeles that performed in about 50 cities a year. Ebony included Shabazz and King among its “Fifty Young Leaders of the Future” in 1983. In the mid-1980s, Shabazz and King co-wrote another play, Of One Mind, about their fathers and what might course history might have taken had they not been killed. Their collaboration lasted about twelve years.
In December 1990, shortly after celebrating the tenth anniversary of Stepping into Tomorrow, King and Shabazz found themselves at the center of a controversy concerning a long-scheduled performance of the play in Arizona. In November, voters in that state had defeated two competing ballot measures that would have established a paid holiday for state employees on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. (The day was an unpaid holiday.) Civil rights groups called for a boycott of the state as a result of the vote. Days after the two women announced they would proceed with their performance, King cancelled her appearance, saying an understudy would take her place. Shabazz performed as scheduled.
Attallah Shabazz Speaking Videos
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