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Interview with Ilyasah Shabazz


Raena Doty / THE GATEPOST

By Dante Curry 

Staff Writer 


After Dr Shabazz’s speech, The Gatepost conducted a one-on-one interview with her. 


The title of your speech was “Is the dream still alive?” What drives you to keep your parents' legacy alive?


Dr. Shabazz:

“Faith, I think you have to be optimistic. You have to have courage and a lot of faith to make sure these generations of young people coming behind us have opportunities.” 


How do you think the power of social media has helped with visibility in the fight for humanity?


Dr. Shabazz:

“I think we are showing proof. We are showing images. We are showing people actually committing these kinds of acts. We are getting them on our phones and they are posting them. Before, a lot of people didn't even believe racism existed. Now we know what it is, let alone that it exists. Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, all kinds of divisive inhumane tactics to keep us separated.”



There was a line in your speech about pulling a knife out of one's back and it still leaving a wound. Can you talk more about that?


Dr. Shabazz:

“People like to say, ‘Slavery ended a long time ago, get over it’. My father said, ‘If you stick a knife in my back nine inches and pull it out six inches, there's still a knife in my back’. Slavery existed for so many hundreds of years. How can you expect because there's the emancipation proclamation that we are supposed to just act like nothing happened? It's not just about the people who were enslaved. It's about all of us because we all have been so miseducated and so misinformed. Blacks, whites, all of us, we have been misinformed. If we understand the truth - people were trafficked, targeted, held in bondage against their will, and all of these atrocious crimes committed against their humanity. So, if we're telling these truths right - if we show who Malcolm really is - then we are going to discover these horrible acts that were committed, rather than address them. The only way we are going to address this is to pull the knife all the way out. It means we are going to have to face the truth, what someone did, these horrific sins committed against humanity. And now, we have an opportunity, rather than having our children being filled with anger, hatred, and being disruptive, now we can instill the values of truth, honesty, compassion, and forgiveness. We have an opportunity to do that.

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