Malcolm Xavier Combs was named after one of the most iconic Black activists of the Civil Rights era. However, Christ the King High School in Queens, New York won’t allow him to print his legal name on his senior sweatshirt, which costs him $40. The school’s reasoning? They did not want “to be connected to anyone controversial.” Well, now they are going to be connected to a lot of controversy. Malcolm is suing the school.
According to the New York Daily News, Malcolm is “fighting back with a complaint filed to the city’s Commission on Human Rights over his school’s refusal to allow him to have the name ‘Malcolm X’ printed on his senior sweater.” The honor roll student “said in his complaint that all of his classmates are proudly wearing their sweaters in school ‘as an important symbol of their academic success and upcoming graduation.’” The 17-year-old added, “I respectfully request that the Commission act as soon as possible so that I will not be singled out or isolated during the remaining months of the school year.”
Rev. Kevin McCall from Reverend Al Sharpton’s National Action Network (NAN) said in February, “This is absurd that in 2018 we have to teach school administration how to be culturally sensitive. In the spirit of Malcolm X, we are calling cultural inclusion events with this school administration so that they can understand what it means to be Black in America.” Malcolm X’s daughter Ilyasah Shabazz offered to visit the high school for an assembly to educate students and staff about her father’s legacy. The school refused.
The school has refused to comment on Combs’complaint. They didn’t want to be “connected” to controversy? Now they are! As we said before, his parents paid $11,350-a-year for Malcolm to attend the school. That’s over $45,000 for the four years. Malcolm should be able to use any version of his name he would like.