Her Story: Betty Shabazz

Today we honor Betty Shabazz (1934-1997), educator, civil rights advocate, and wife of Malcom X. Shabazz grew up in Detroit, Michigan. She attended the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. Years later she moved to New York City and became a nurse. It was there, in New York City, that she met Malcom X and married.  

After the assassination of Malcom X, she worked tirelessly to uplift her hustand’s legacy and continued to play a pivotal role in the civil rights movement. While raising six children on her own, Shabazz completed her undergraduate degree, earned her Master’s in Public Health Administration, and earned her doctorate in higher-education administration at the University of Massachusetts.

By the early 1970’s, Shabazz began giving public lectures advocating for human rights and education centered around women and children. In 1984, she became the director at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, New York, a position she held until her death in 1997.

Shabazz was an influential leader, educator, and activist, who dedicated her life to serving her community. Dr. Shabazz contributed significantly to the Black political thought and made important contributions to the Black social movement in the United States and around the globe. She Made History and the world is a better place because of her.

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not  to be reduced by them.”

-Betty Shabazz

Links for Learning:

The Shabazz Center

Dr. Betty Shabazz (U.S. National Park Service)


Betty Shabazz – Biography

About The Author


Mother, Photographer, Wisecracker.... not necessarily in that order.

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