Malcolm X The ballot or the Bullet Speech

Jun 11th, 2012 posted by admin

Malcolm X was a proponent of civil rights for all people regardless of their race. One of the landmark speeches that he gave on this topic was “The Ballot or the Bullet Speech.” It was given April 3, 1964 in Cleveland, Ohio. In this speech he announced that he would be separating from the Nation of Islam because religion was just another issue that was destroying the unity of African-Americans. The Nation of Islam was an African-American nationalist group that did not allow its members to be part of the political process and Malcolm X thought that it was necessary to be a part of the political process to ensure equality for African-Americans, even though being part of it would not guarantee equality.
The reason that it is referred to as “The Ballot or the Bullet Speech” is that he wanted African-American to be allowed the right to vote and refusing them that freedom would probably result in violent protest. He stated that if the government refused to defend African-Americans rights they would need to defend themselves against the government using whatever means necessary. He was giving an ultimatum to the government that African-Americans would not allow themselves to be repressed any longer.

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