From Our Editors
February 21, 1965—a defining moment in United States history. While preparing to speak at Manhattan's Audubon Ballroom, human-rights icon Malcolm X was assassinated on stage in front of a crowd of 400. But it wasn't the end of his story. He was survived by his wife, fellow civil-rights advocate Betty Shabazz, and their six children; his autobiography was published shortly after his death; and those whose lives he touched continue to fight for justice to this day. And in May of 2005, even the place where his life ended has been reborn as a locus of education and transformation.
A collaboration of the Shabazz family and Columbia University and located in the former Audubon Ballroom, the Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center acts as an oasis of support for social justice as well as a community hub with workshop programs for teachers, field-trip opportunities for students from kindergarten to post-graduate programs, and public events celebrating landmark moments in civil rights and African American history. It also houses three culturally significant permanent art exhibits and hosts jazz performances on a regular basis. Interactive touch-screen multimedia kiosks let visitors explore the lives and work of Malcolm X and D. Betty Shabazz; they include short videos, photos, and postcards as well as commentary friend of the family Ossie Davis. In all its events and programs, the center aims to live up to one of Malcolm X's central beliefs: "Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs only to the people who prepare for it today."