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South L.A. Intersection Named After Malcolm X

The slain civil rights leader's daughter is on hand for the ceremony. Some critics say he deserved more -- an entire boulevard.

September 17, 2003|Jessica Garrison | Times Staff Writer

As Malcolm X's daughter watched from the audience, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to name an intersection in South Los Angeles after the slain civil rights leader. Malcolm X Way will be at Central Avenue and Martin Luther King. Jr. Boulevard near the Bilal Islamic Center.

A convert to Islam, Malcolm X promoted black separatism as a minister for the Nation of Islam. In the last years of his life, however, he broke with the Nation and modified his views, increasingly stressing black empowerment and the common bonds of all races.

In approving Councilwoman Jan Perry's motion, council members said it was high time Los Angeles gave public recognition to Malcolm X, a fiery and eloquent speaker who was gunned down in 1965 and whose name now graces streets and monuments in several other U.S. cities.

"I'm here today because people died for my right to be here," said Councilman Antonio Villaraigosa, who recounted reading "The Autobiography of Malcolm X" as a teenager. He said Malcolm X was "a man who stood for the idea that all of us should be measured by the content of our character."

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Saturday September 20, 2003 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 0 inches; 27 words Type of Material: Correction
Malcolm X photo -- A photo of Malcolm X that ran in Wednesday's California section should have been credited to Eve Arnold/Magnum Photos, not Apex Fine Art.

But some community members criticized the naming -- saying Malcolm X deserved not just a way, but an entire boulevard. Still, Malcolm X's daughter said she was pleased.

"I am grinning on his behalf," Attallah Shabazz said. "I am just hoping that the area is not exclusive to any, but everyone is made to feel welcome ... and I have to find my way over there as a New Yorker."

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