The Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center transforms the history site of my father’s martyrdom into an oasis of support for the ongoing struggle for social justice. For years the fate of the Audubon Ballroom and Theater was uncertain.
Located in the Washington Heights section of Upper Manhattan, the doors of the Audubon closed shortly after my father’s assassination. Due to a lack of payment back taxes, the City of New York assumed ownership of the building in 1967.
It was eventually purchased by the Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, which intended to demolish the entire building and erect a medical research center in its place. This plan however was met with fierce opposition by grass roots groups as well as my mother—all of whom wanted the building to remain standing as a memorial to my father’s humanitarian efforts; and, as a permanent symbol of the African American struggle for equality.