Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Betty Shabazz (Malcolm X's Wife) Vintage Inspired Hairstyle Tutorial & Info (Early 1960's)





In today’s blog post I will be taking you back into the early 1960’s. Many of you know I love recreating vintage hairstyles by historical figures and celebrities. I’ll be demonstrating and discussing a vintage hairstyle inspired by Betty Shabazz who was an educator, Civil Rights activist and wife of Malcolm X (one of my favorite leaders too!)


Who Was Betty Shabazz?

Betty Shabazz was born Betty Dean Sanders (May 28th 1934 – June 23rd 1997) in Pinehurst, Georgia, although she claimed to be from Detroit, Michigan. At age 11, Shabazz was taken from her home due to her mother’s abuse and was taken in by a  new family who were active members in the National Council of Negro Women, NAACP and help organized campaigns to support Black owned businesses.

Despite her new family’s activism they shielded her from racism. In a 1995 issue of Ebony Magazine Shabazz mentioned: “Race relations were not discussed and it was hoped that by denying the existence of race problems, the problems would go away. Anyone who openly discussed race relations was quickly viewed as a troublemaker”.

In my perspective, this sounds quite familiar in the modern generation!

Pictured: Malcolm X, his wife and 2 daughters

After high school Shabazz left Detroit and studied at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama and then Brooklyn State College of Nursing in New York in 1953. While attending school, she was invited to a party at the Nation of Islam temple in Harlem. That’s when she met Malcolm X. She attended his services and converted to Islam in 1956 and changed her surname to X as well.

Malcolm and Betty were married in January 14th 1958. They together had six daughters. They left the Nation of Islam in 1964.

Unfortunately, Malcolm X was assassinated during one of his speeches on February 21st 1965. Betty was left to raise her six daughters alone.

She earned her doctorate in higher-education administration from the University of Massachusetts in 1970 and worked as an associate professor of health sciences in 1976.

Sadly, on June 23rd 1997, Betty passed away. She suffered burns over 80 percent of her body due to her grandson, Malcolm Shabazz, setting fire in her apartment. He was sentenced 18 months in juvenile detention for manslaughter and arson. She is laid to rest next to her husband in Ferncliff Cemetary in Hartsdale, New York.


Pictured: Betty Shabazz in the 1960's





Betty Shabazz Vintage Inspired Hairstyle




I created this hairstyle in recognition of Betty Shabazz. The style is very simple to do and appears to be early 1960’s. I wasn’t able to see the back of her hair in this particular photo, so I had to create my own style towards the back by securing it with a decorative bobby pin. 

This style can be done for class, errands, shopping or even a 1960’s style night out for the vintage enthusiast! It's perfect or all hair lengths too - especially medium to long hair. 

You don’t necessarily have to have under curls, but it helps to give that 1960’s authentic look. It does take practice brushing out the ends to create smooth under curls.







I hope you enjoy this vintage inspired hairstyle! Thanks for watching.


Click the video below to watch the full tutorial:





View more photos via Instagram!



Betty Shabazz speaking in 1971



Works Cited: U.S. National Park Services www.nps.gov


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