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Growing Up X

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  274 ratings  ·  30 reviews
“Ilyasah Shabazz has written a compelling and lyrical coming-of-age story as well as a candid and heart-warming tribute to her parents. Growing Up X is destined to become a classic.”

February 21, 1965: Malcolm X is assassinated in Harlem’s Audubon Ballroom. June 23, 1997: After surviving for a remarkable twenty-two days, his widow, Betty Shabazz, dies of burns suf
Paperback, 256 pages
Published January 14th 2003 by One World/Ballantine (first published April 30th 2002)
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Diane Brown
Up front, the author Shabazz states that this book is not about her father, but rather about her life growing up as his daughter. I read this book on Malcolm's birthday because I wanted to know more about the man - Malcolm the MAN, the father, lover, husband. She has some good reflections on him as a father and a husband, on his values which are really to be admired. He was indeed a great role model, and very principled. The love between Betty and Malcolm and dedication to each other is beautifu ...more
Wilhelmina Jenkins
Interesting, but not earth-shaking. The author is the third of Malcolm X's 6 daughters and this book is simply her feelings growing up from her father's assassination until her mother's death from a fire in her home in the 1990's.
To me, her life story didn't reveal anything unusual - she had a fairly privileged upbringing typical of African American upper-middle class families. She was, again typically, sheltered from the outside world by her mother, a very strong and determined woman. Many deta
It's more about Betty than about Malcolm. Could've been better if only it was more organized and had a clearer purpose.
Mocha Girl
Oct 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
I commend Ilyasah Shabazz for her courage to publish her memoirs in Growing Up X. It is clearly an act of bravery for anyone to share intimate thoughts with the world. I found it surprising that she led a rather normal, non-eventful life in Mt Vernon, New York because I, like many others, perceived her (and her sisters) as the legacy of two remarkable parents-thus making her destined to supercede their combined greatness. Naturally, this is an unfair and often cruel expectation to place on child ...more
Eveline Chao
Aug 16, 2013 rated it liked it
This was a smidge better than your typical famous(ish)-person memoir. Usually these things read like a bunch of disjointed episodes, barely strung together, and you can see just how hard it was for the cowriter or ghostwriter to pull any remotely interesting thoughts out of the author. This was definitely still a bunch of somewhat disjointed memories, but the cowriter managed to create a bit of narrative and shape from the material. I always wonder how much of that is the cowriter's skill and ho ...more
Aug 16, 2010 rated it it was ok
eh. it was okay. i wasn't expecting what i read. it read like a hollywood film- its got sex drugs and violence. there are a few moments that i enjoyed the book: when she's talking about growing up and the way her mother brought her up to enrich her richly with education, culture, arts, etc; the way she speaks of her mother. i guess i would expect the legacy of Malcolm X to follow on in his children but she explains in the book that she is never going measure up to her father. other than all that ...more
Sep 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir
First bio by one of Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz's daughters. A good follow up to Alex Haley's book. This deepened the respect I have for Malcolm X and made Betty Shabazz a heroine to me. He triumph over struggle is an inspiration and a worthwhile read.
Ross Hamilton, JR.
Jul 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I met Ilyasah Shabazz at the 2004 Essence Music Festival. She looks just like her dad! This is an excellent read that sheds light on the many sacrafices that Betty Shabazz and the kids dealt with.
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing

After reading 'Growing Up X’ by I. Shabazz, I put the book down in a slow manner ruminating over the story I read as well as the bits and pieces of my personal hero and angel of sorts, Dr. Betty Shabazz's life as it was mentioned throughout. To think about a book after it has been put down May qualify the book as good, but the tugging of it at my heart and the deep sense of duty to read more, search deeper within myself for my place in what I will call the 'Great Crossroad of America' deems this
Victoria Law
Dec 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Heartbreaking and beautiful.
Rafael Suleiman
Dec 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
A very powerful memoir from a member of a famous Black American family.
Thomas Rush
Dec 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
How does one live up to writing a book while being the offspring of legends. How does one do that? How is one supposed to live up to the expectations? I see that Ms. Ilyasah Shabazz does quite fine, simply by being herself. Anyone who is fair to her cannot expect her to be nether Malcolm X nor Betty Shabazz. In reading this book carefully, one can see how it took a lot of courage to be open about so many things. The book helps the reader to truly see the day-to-day working of the Shabazz househo ...more
Thanna R
Dec 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a coming-of-age story about a girl who happens to be the daughter of an important figure in history. She struggles with over protective family members and attempting to understand her roots, specifically who her father was to the general public and what role he played as a revolutionary leader. The pressure of her to live up to other people's expectations can be related to that of a child of immigrant parents. However, through Ilyasah's personal accounts the reader gets to learn about th ...more
Riz Rahman
Aug 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
A touching and heartfelt tribute to their mother, Dr. Betty Shabazz, the widow of Malcolm X. Ilyasah details pivotal certain experiences in such an interesting way and I reiterate that it was such a great shame that Malcolm was taken away from us. Both Malcolm and Betty will live on forever. The book is a must read for anyone interested in developing their knowledge bank although I would like to have read a bit more about Malcolm himself and the man he was inside his family home. However, this b ...more
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is well-written and quite eloquent, in my opinion. I found the author's voice to be very perceptive and fresh, yet simplistic, and the overall story to be very engrossing; I couldn't put it down! As the daughter of Malcolm X, I think I expected Ms. Shabazz to be very pretentious, but to my surprise, I found her to be very down-to-earth. I admire the love that she has for her mother; I found this book to be a very beautiful and emotional tribute to both her pare ...more
Feb 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was wonderful. I didn't fee like I was reading a book, it felt like she was sitting here telling me the story. I really didn't want it to end. Dr. Shabbaz seemed like and extraordinary woman. Again, the book was wonderful.
Feb 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
Ilyasah Shabazz's book is lighter in tone then her fathers but no less worthy. It's is fascinating to know how this woman grew up with such a a legacy to live up to. Not only of her father but her mother as well.
Jul 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book, it was nice to hear about Malcom X from his daughters eyes. She also gave a great insight on how the famliy dealt with his death and who stood by the famliy. Great Great Read.
Feb 15, 2015 rated it it was ok
I wrote my senior thesis about Malcolm X and remain fascinated by him. However, this autobiography of his daughter was much more about her love of her mother, Betty Shabazz, and growing up black in an upper middle class white suburb. Too bad.
Rianna Jade
Jan 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Endearing and honest.
Dec 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very inspiring

" My mother's mission was to leave the world a better place than she found it, she far surpassed that personal goal. Now it is our turn to carry on."
Jan 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This was good because we often read about Malcolm X but we don't get many details about how his family moved on after his death. This book shows what a great dedicated mother Betty Shabazz was.
Mar 10, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Who better to share the story of the Shabazz family?
Feb 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
story of Ilyasah Shabazz and life growing up as the daughter of Malcolm X.
Mar 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
A very moving and touching read. It inspired so many "if only" moments that it almost makes me sad. Allah Ta'aala knows best and may His blessings be upon the Shabazz family.
Not much earthshattering here, but some interesting insights and memories of one of Malcolm X's six daughters.
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Feb 16, 2015
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Jan 20, 2017
robin marie
rated it it was ok
Jan 26, 2009
rated it really liked it
May 29, 2013
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Ilyasah Shabazz, third daughter of Malcolm X, is an activist, producer, motivational speaker, and the author of the critically acclaimed Growing Up X and the picture book Malcolm Little: The Boy Who Grew Up to Become Malcolm X. She lives in Westchester County, New York.
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