On May 28, 1936, Betty Shabazz, the then-future wife of Black liberationist leader, Malcolm X, was born. Named Betty Jean Sanders by her mother, Ollie Mae Sanders, she was the illegitimate daughter of Shelman Sandlin. According to records, her mother abused her, so authorities gave to another family.
She grew up in Detroit and was raised by foster parents, Helen Lowe and Lorenzo Don Malloy. Her parents shielded her from racism and White supremacy in her younger years, and fervently taught Black self-reliance.