malcolm shabazz (semi smile)*Services for Malcolm Shabazz, the murdered grandson of civil rights icon Malcolm X, who was assassinated in 1965, were held in Oakland, California on Friday.

Those who attended said Shabazz, 28, was well on his way to cementing his own legacy.

More than 200 people attended a traditional Islamic service in Oakland for the 28-year-old Shabazz, who authorities say was beaten to death last week over a $1,200 bar bill in Mexico City.

The service, which lasted more than two hours, featured plenty of prayer, songs, spoken word and tears. Many among the procession of speakers said while they initially connected with Shabazz because of his famous grandfather, they learned to appreciate a man they called “Young Malcolm” as a leader in his own right.

“If I could put into one word how I feel about Malcolm, it would be, ‘inspiration,’” Hussein Mekki, 32, of Houston, Texas, told fellow mourners. “Hopefully that will continue, and he can inspire us for the rest of our lives.”

While Shabazz was originally from New York, he settled in the Bay Area more than three years ago after taking a spiritual pilgrimage to Mecca at the advice of friends and local political activist Yuri Kochiyama, who knew his grandfather and wrote to Shabazz while he was incarcerated.

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