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Friday, December 19, 2014

UNM 125: Daughters of MLK, Malcolm X to stage musical

Printed November 28, 1990

The daughters of assassinated Black leaders Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X are going to stage, “Stepping Into Tomorrow,” a musical, at the Kiva Auditorium, at the Civic Center, next Tuesday, Dec. 4.

At the time of the men’s deaths, many thought that the late King and Al Hajj Mali al-Shabazz, which is the name Malcolm X took when he made his pilgrimage to Mecca, were opposites in philosophy. At the end of Spike Lee’s movie “Do the Right Thing,” some words of both King and Malcolm X are printed on the screen.

Today, however, many people think there was not necessarily that big a gulf between the two leaders. Their eldest daughters, Attallah Shabazz and Yolanda King, feel a kinship and mutual respect.

“Being daughters of men who were loved by many, as well as hated by many, makes you different from other celebrities’ daughters,” King said.

“I was there when my father was killed,” Shabazz said. She was six at the time. “I have these images that keep coming back to me. Acting is a way to express myself. So is writing, which I do too.”

Both women resemble their fathers. Shabazz is tall and thin with angular features. She grew up in Westchester County, an affluent suburb of New York City. Shabazz does makeup and hair, as well as fashion consulting. She has worked with blues singer Chaka Khan.

King has her father’s round face and solid build. In addition to her work with Nucleus, the production company which produces “Stepping Into Tomorrow,” King has been involved with the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change, in Atlanta.

After spending over four years writing, producing and acting in “Stepping Into Tomorrow” along with Shabazz, King took a break from the show several years ago, and attended law school.

“Ms. King just graduated from law school,” said Johnny Scott, who is the vice president of the UNM Black Law Students Association.

The association is a major supporter in bringing the Nucleus production to Albuquerque. By request of Scott’s organization, the Graduate Students Association is providing a large part of the funding.

Public Service of New Mexico is paying the cost of busing to the show for all high school students in Albuquerque. U.S. West, the Marriot Hotel and Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice are also major sponsors of the show.

Two shows will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 4. The morning show, at 9:30 a.m., will be for students only. They will be admitted free. The show is aimed at students and focuses on overcoming the pitfalls they face: gangs, drugs and suicide.

The evening show will be held at 7:30 p.m. Tickets will be $25 and $12. UNM students can by tickets at a special student rate of $9. Tickets will be available at Ticketmaster, and from the Black Law Students Association or the Black Student Union.