Malcolm X And The Ballot Or The Bullet

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The 1960’s, in America, was a time of cultural and racial divide. This sentiment is no more evident than in Malcolm X’s “The Ballot or the Bullet” speech. In this speech, Malcolm X demanded that his audience should take action against their government leaders. He proposed that there were only two options to resolve this issue, the ballot or the bullet. Malcolm X delivered this iconic speech on April 3rd, 1964 at Cory Methodist Church in Cleveland, Ohio (Novak 35; Terrill 35). This meeting was sponsored by the Cleveland Chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality (Terrill 35). Malcolm X spoke to a diverse audience of black and white citizens, however it was predominantly black. Since he was speaking at a church, Malcolm X discussed the topic of his religious beliefs. The month prior to giving his speech, Malcolm X separated from the Nation of Islam and formed his own organization, Muslim Mosque Inc. (Novak 34). At the beginning of his speech, he identified himself as still being a Muslim, but assured the audience that religion would not be the topic of the night. He wanted to point out that although he had differing religious views than his audience that they were brought together by their oppression. The topic of his speech was social and political injustice for blacks in the community, locally and nationally. He pointed out two options to solve the issues of the civil rights community, the ballot or the bullet. This meant that the black community would have to come
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