Telling the stories of great African Americans always comes with a bit of pressure, that pressure intensifies when that icon is your father.
Ilyasah Shabazz, Malcolm X’s daughter, expertly handled this pressure and created a stunning YA novel telling her father’s story. Along with Kekla Magoon Ms. Shabazz wrote X: A Novel, which illustrates a slightly fictional depiction of the journey of teenage Malcolm X into adulthood.
Rather than focusing on the giant of social change, this novel focuses on the guy just trying to fit into a new city, navigate life, and figure out who he is. We see the great Malcolm X, but more so we see the human Malcolm X. We witness a regular guy who spends too much money on a fancy suit, seeks out the best clubs Harlem has to offer, and gets a conk.
It’s an intriguing and exciting narrative made even richer by the fact that his daughter tells it.