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Hundreds Gather To Mark 50 Years Since Malcolm X's Assassination

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Saturday marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Malcolm X in Harlem.

About 300 people converged to hear remarks from one of Malcolm X's six daughters, Ilyasah Shabazz, as well as elected officials. The ceremony was held at the Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center, formerly known as the Audubon Ballroom.

Ilyasah Shabazz led a moment of silence Saturday to commemorate the moment of the shooting at the spot where her father lost his life, 1010 WINS' Gary Baumgarten reported.

Daughter Of Malcolm X Continues Legacy 50 Years After Assassination

"It's extremely important that all of us well-informed adults, responsible, educated, enlightened, that we take responsibility for our children, that no one else is going to do it for us," Ilyasah Shabazz said to those gathered to commemorate her father.

CBS2's Don Champion spoke with Malcolm X's youngest daughter, Malaak Shabazz, about her father's legacy.

"The revolution we need is a revolution of the mind;" reading her father's words, Malaak Shabazz said Malcolm X is still misunderstood 50 years after his death.

"He wasn't evil, he wasn't a devil worshipper, he wasn't a white hater. He was a humanitarian," Malaak Shabazz told Champion.

As a member of the Nation of Islam, Malcolm X advocated black power and rejected integration during the fight for civil rights, Champion reported.

Shortly after he broke off from the group and turned his back on what it stood for, members of the Nation of Islam gunned him down in the Audubon Ballroom in 1965.

Daughters Of Malcolm X Continue Legacy 50 Years After Assassination

Peter Bailey, one of Malcolm X's bodyguards and pallbearers, remembers the day like it was yesterday.

"I ran down and jumped on the stage and I saw him gasping and I saw the bullet holes in his body," he told WCBS 880's Monica Miller.

Wood from the stage he was standing on still marks the spot where he was assassinated.

"They didn't shoot him here (pointing at her chest)," Malaak Shabazz said. "(They) shot him here (pointing at her chin) so that even if he did survive, he could never speak again."

Part of the Audubon Ballroom is now a memorial and educational center named after Malcolm X and his late wife Dr. Betty Shabazz, who fought to save the building.

Executive Director Bryan Epps said much of Malcolm X's legacy is still relevant today.

"It speaks to Malcolm's power; it's also sad that we're still dealing with these issues 50 years later," he said.

Malaak Shabazz is also trying to preserve her parents' legacy.

"How do we make our ethnic children confident enough to continue to pursue to the top?" she questioned.

Malaak Shabazz said it's all about educating young black children about their history.

Malcolm X would have turned 90 years old this year.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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