After a New York City student was prohibited from wearing a shirt bearing his name, which he shares with late civil rights icon Malcolm X, the teen was able to meet a descendant of the activist.
When students at Christ the King High School were given instructions for submitting requests for their senior shirts, they were told only a first or last name could go on the shirt and nicknames were not allowed. WABC-TV reports Queens honor roll student Malcolm Xavier Combs was told his sweatshirt request which would read ‘Malcolm X’ could not be fulfilled.
But statements reportedly made by the 17-year-old’s teachers imply his request wasn’t just denied on the basis of technicality.
“I felt insulted,”Combs told the New York Daily News last week. “They just laughed at me … that’s my name, Malcolm X, not a nickname.”
When the National Action Network caught hold of the story, they immediately came to the teen’s defense.
“The assistant principal pulled him out of English class and told him, ‘You don’t wanna be associated with his name,’” Rev. Kevin McCall of the National Action Network told WABC-TV. “He was like, ‘Associate with MY name? That’s my name. That’s on my birth certificate.’”
“Another teacher comes in, who’s the varsity coach, who is her husband,” Rev. McCall continued. “She points to the student, Malcolm, and starts laughing, and says, ‘This is the new Malcolm X,‘ in the spirit of Black History Month.”
But NAN didn’t just have Combs’ back. They offered him an opportunity to meet with X’s daughter Ilyasah Shabazz.
Shabazz presented Combs with the a sweatshirt bearing ‘X Legacy’ at the social justice organization’s headquarters.
“I’m probably going to frame that — I like it so much,” teen, who sported a suit and tie, said according to the New York Daily News.