Interview with Betty Shabazz
QUESTION 13
CARROLL BLUE:

That question I'm asking you, that strength and power, you know, could you share with us an incident that you observed?

BETTY SHABAZZ:

Well, I wasn't married to him at, at the time that you are talking about the, the demonstration but I was close to it. And, ah, of course, ah, the police had wrongly abused one of the men who, ah, was considered a brother, ah, for no apparent reason other than mistaken identity, of which there was a settlement, ah, but, ah, everyone was, was just very frightened of, ah, that whole group of, ah, Black men who were later joined by some women, ah, and, ah, it was felt that Malcolm was.





BETTY SHABAZZ:

It was felt that, ah, no Black man should have that kind of strength or power to, ah, dispatch, ah, Black men, ah, in that kind of demonstration. And, ah, of course it was, ah, I thought, really not the proper thing for people to say maybe, to think because what we want to do is to have people to have allegiance to themselves. You know everyone fights for the allegiance of Black people and, ah, if, if a, if, it appeared to me that if that because they had allegiance to Malcolm at that particular time that he was considered a threat. Ah,, and a lot of negative dialogue began to emanate that, ah, these Black men and women, ah, adhered to his instructions to go or to come, ah, everyone fights for the allegiance of the Black people, you know. But when Blacks have allegiance to Black, that seems to be still considered very dangerous, when it is the most natural there is. Of course, ah, there was no fear on their part either and, ah, that was one of the things that I found with my own parents, when I was going to a southern school and came home and began to talk about the discrimination and the, ah, difficulties that I had when I would go into town and my parents really could not deal with it because, and I understand and of course love them no less, ah, but, ah, they were afraid. And a lot of people do things because internally they've been bred on fear. Ah, fear that if they show allegiance to Blacks that something would happen, you see. And so my parents were very fearful and that was the one very striking thing about Malcolm, that, ah, he had no fear. And, ah, I am of course not as strong as he but, ah, I am very grateful that I had the conference experience to be around him for years and experience a Black man who was goal oriented and had a love for his people and made his contribution as he should and as we all should but without fear. He feared God and that was it.