Betty Shabazz, also known as Betty X, was an American educator and civil rights advocate. She was married to Malcolm X. Shabazz grew up in Detroit, Michigan, where her foster parents largely sheltered her from racism. She attended the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, where she had her first encounters with racism. Unhappy with the situation in Alabama, she moved to New York City, where she became a nurse. It was there that she met Malcolm X and, in 1956, joined the Nation of Islam. The couple married in 1958. Along with her husband, Shabazz left the Nation of Islam in 1964. She witnessed his assassination the following year. Left with the responsibility of raising six daughters as a widow, Shabazz pursued higher education, and went to work at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, New York. Following the 1995 arrest of her daughter Qubilah for allegedly conspiring to murder Louis Farrakhan, Shabazz took in her ten-year-old grandson Malcolm. In 1997, he set fire to her apartment.
Betty Dean Sanders, May 28, 1934, Pinehurst, Georgia, or, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Former Nation of Islam members. Malcolm X family. Medgar Evers College faculty. New Jersey City University alumni. African-American former Christians. American Sunni Muslims. Converts to Islam from Protestantism. Burials at Ferncliff Cemetery. Delta Sigma Theta members. Tuskegee University alumni. African-American Muslims. African-American educators. American nurses. American women nurses