A student told he couldn't have "Malcolm X" printed on his school sweatshirt has received a special gift from the late leader’s daughter, the New York Daily News reports.
Ilyasah Shabazz, the third daughter of Malcolm X, gifted 17-year-old Malcolm Xavier Combs a t-shirt with “X Legacy” printed on the chest. The teenager happily received the gift onstage at the Harlem branch of the National Action Network.
“I'm probably going to frame that — I like it so much,” said Combs.
Last month, Combs was pulled out of class at Christ the King, a private school in Queens, New York, and told he "wouldn’t want to be associated” with his namesake.
Christ the King says nicknames are barred from school shirts, but Combs’ mom doesn’t buy it.
“They had no issue with Malcolm E. or Malcolm D., but that one letter in the alphabet has set off a firestorm,” said Mychelle Combs.
“I was just trying to represent Malcolm X because I love my name,” young Malcolm said.
Al Sharpton and the National Action Network have publicly supported the family and have spoken with school officials on their behalf.
Sharpton said he will hold a protest in front of the school, if the policy isn’t changed, and if staff doesn't undergo mandatory cultural sensitivity training.
“I wanted this young man and his family to know that we are with them,” Sharpton said. “[The National Action Network] has gone out there and spoken with the heads of the school. It seems that they have a hearing deficiency. Maybe a lot of us need to go out there and turn the volume up.”
Shabazz also voiced her support and said the controversy that often surrounds her father is misguided.
“He was fearless because he loved us and he believed in our humanity,” Shabazz said.
“He believed every child deserved an opportunity to realize his or her God-given potential. He said we’re miseducated and demanded an end to 400 years of trauma … What is so controversial about that?”