Shabazz leads book club to read “The Awakening of Malcolm X”

November 2, 2023
By: Maureen Stokes

The community is invited to take part in a unique opportunity to read The Awakening of Malcolm X, winner of the 2023 Teen Choice Awards Young Adult, with his daughter and the book’s author, Ilyasah Shabazz.

Shabazz, Worcester State’s new Diversity Equity and Inclusion fellow, will kick off the group with a virtual welcome and introduction on Nov. 8 at 2:30 p.m., where she will discuss the challenges she faced growing up as a daughter of Malcolm X and how she overcame the challenges to launch a successful career as an award-winning author, producer, activist, and educator. The group will continue on Nov. 15 with the first book discussion and wrap up with an in-person conversation with Ilyasah on Nov. 29 at 2:30 p.m. in the Blue Lounge of the Student Center. The book will serve as Worcester State’s selection for February 2024’s National African American Read-In and 9th Annual ALANA Preview Day. Students taking part in the book club will be given a free copy of the book, which can be autographed by the author at the campus Student Center on Nov. 29.

Those interested in participating are asked to register.

Published in 2021, The Awakening of Malcolm X is a narrative account of his adolescent years written by Shabazz along with 2019 Coretta Scott King- and John Steptoe award-winning author Tiffany D. Jackson. Published by MacMillan Publishers, the book description reads: “In Charlestown Prison, 20 year old Malcolm Little struggles with the weight of his past. Plagued by nightmares, Malcolm drifts through days, unsure of his future. Slowly, he befriends other prisoners and writes to his family. He reads all the books in the prison library, joins the debate team, and the Nation of Islam. A young Malcolm grapples with race, politics, religion, and justice in the 1940s. And as his time in jail comes to an end, he emerges from prison more than just Malcolm Little: Now, he is Malcolm X.”

This riveting historical fiction novel serves as a powerful and inspiring tale of an adolescent’s extraordinary journey in Midwest Americathrough joy, pain, and self-discoveryand whose life takes a remarkable turn, transforming him into becoming a prominent human rights activist who would forever alter the course of history.

A celebrated and multiple award-winning author, educator, and human rights activist, Shabazz wrote the book to bring Malcolm’s accurate legacy to the forefront of history along with the values instilled by his parents, which shaped a young man to become a world figure.

An accomplished novelist, Shabazz is famous for her first publication in 2002, Growing Up X, which was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work, Nonfiction. In 2014, she wrote a children’s book, Malcolm Little: The Boy Who Grew Up to Become Malcom X, which was also nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work, Children’s. The following year, she wrote a young-adult novel, X, which was among the ten finalists for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature and won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work, Youth/Teens. She served as a project advisor for the PBS award-winning film Prince Among Slaves documentary.


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