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Malcolm X’s daughter Ilyasah Shabazz inspires women at SC State to come together

Author: Allie Harris-Beeks, Communications Specialist|Published: April 03, 2024|All News, Student News

Dr. Ilyasah Shabazz speaks to SC State women at Black Women Lead luncheon.

Dr. Ilyasah Shabazz encourages Black women to stick together, control their own narratives and to speak out against racial injustices.

ORANGEBURG, S.C. – “When we face divisiveness, which tries to convince us that we have to choose one over the other, we must choose to come together,” Dr. Ilyasah Shabazz said at the Black Women Lead luncheon.

She spoke with passion at last week’s luncheon as she empowered women at South Carolina State University to be leaders and practice unity.

Shabazz is a daughter of slain civil rights icon Malcolm X and his late wife, Dr. Betty Shabazz. She is an award-winning author, educator and producer.

Shabazz has authored five historical novels and served as project advisor for the PBS award-winning documentary, “Prince Among Slaves.” She is producing a television series based on her latest publication, “The Awakening of Malcolm X,” with Sony Pictures Television’s TriStar.

“Being able to bring Black women together to not only empower them, but to empower them in their professional development, especially as college women, leads the pathway to a greater push behind us and a groundbreaking future for us,” said Victoria C. Jordan, president of Dedicated Outstanding Ladies Living Strong (D.O.L.L.S.) and Black Women Lead. 

At the luncheon, Shabazz talked about the importance of Black women controlling their own narratives and speaking out against racial injustices. She also talked about the legacy of her father and stressed the importance of Black people learning their history to combat systematic racism. 

Victoria Jordan
Victoria C. Jordan, president of Dedicated Outstanding Ladies Living Strong (D.O.L.L.S.) and Black Women Lead.
“It’s important to have events like this, not only from an HBCU standpoint but from a standpoint of introducing young women to history,” said D.O.L.L.S. Advisor and Student Life and Leadership Office Manager Byron Larrymore. “If we can introduce them to history and show them how great they are and introduce them to high-power people, it would be great for women on campus.”

The luncheon was a collaborative effort from the SC State Office of Student Life and Leadership and Dedicated Outstanding Ladies Living Strong (D.O.L.L.S.). 

“We plan to keep this event going, it’s going to be an annual event. I definitely want to shout out Dr. Pressley. We collaborated with him to get Dr. Shabazz here. He is a frontrunner when it comes to putting these events together,” Larrymore said. Women who attended the Black Women Lead luncheon left inspired and empowered to come together and be great as a community. 

“I was so excited about this opportunity,” SC State First Lady Agatha Conyers said. “I’ve been following Dr. Betty Shabazz (Ilyasah Shabazz’s mother) for a long time, since my undergraduate days. She was a Delta (Delta Sigma Theta Inc.) and was very instrumental in implementing a lot of things for the sorority. So, just to see her daughter and hear her speak – I’m just really excited about what this will do for our campus and our community.

“We are in a different time where young women deal with so many different things such as identity, feeling good about themselves – they struggle with certain issues that are popular today. So, I think this was great,” Conyers said. 

First Lady
SC State First Lady Agatha Conyers and Dr. Ilyasah Shabazz
The main objective of his research is to design and implement computer vision models that can accurately detect vehicles in parking lots. He also plans to employ machine learning algorithms that can analyze parking patterns and predict occupancy to facilitate dynamic space allocation.

This information would all be on an app for people to use when trying to find parking in urban areas that have limited space. Osei has started his research on SC States campus, utilizing the Engineering & Computer Science Complex parking lot.

“This event helps encourage other students and other stakeholders who are interested in my research to advance it. Like my project on campus, the stakeholders can help expand it to other locations and they can help expand the research presented by other students,” he said.

Other young women from SC State’s campus expressed their gratitude and why they were excited to meet Shabazz.
For them, she and her family are a staple in Civil Rights history and are role models for Black leaders in the past, present and future.  

Kimora Aiken
Kimora Aiken and Dr. Ilyasah Shabazz
“After hearing Dr. Shabazz speak, I definitely feel empowered and a little starstruck. I love Malcolm X. He’s one of my favorite activists and being in a lifetime where I get to meet his daughter is so amazing to me,” said SC State sophomore broadcasting major Kimora Aiken. “She was empowering because she was telling us, especially the young Black women, that we need to come together. And right now, that’s so important.
“I wish that more students were able to come out and hear her speech because it was so great. This is a message that young Black women in our generation need to hear. In her speech she said, ‘By any means necessary,’ and yes, by any means necessary, we need to come together as a community and start pouring back into each other,” Aiken said.