Rhetorical Analysis Of Malcom X : Equality And Civil Rights

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Malcom X gives his speech during a time in American history when equality and civil rights between blacks and whites had not yet been established. Like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcom X also fought for the civil rights of Black Americans in the 1960s, but using different tactics. Malcom X was angry that Congress had opposed bills that were intended to support the equality and civil liberties of African Americans. In the North, where Blacks were allowed to vote, White politicians came to Black communities with promises they did not intend to keep in exchange for black votes. Malcom X urged the African American community to fight in order to gain the equal rights they deserved, by either through immediate grant of the vote (the ballot) and if denied the vote, blacks should engage in violent opposition to the white rule (the bullet). Malcom X’s stature as a civil rights leader and prominent figure in the Nation of Islam helped strengthen these appeals. Malcom X delivered his speech on April 3, 1964. By it being the year of a presidential election, X anticipated his speech would encourage politicians to support black rights. In addition to wanting to build up the Black Nationalism by encouraging blacks to exercise their Fifteenth Amendment by voting, Malcom X argued that the African American community also needed to become more politically mature and understand what the ballot is for, and what is intended to do. In his speech, Malcom X mentioned the civil rights march of 1936 which took place in Washington, D.C., where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. X stated, “You haven't seen anything. There's some more going down in '64,” “They're not going singing ''We Shall Overcome,” and “They're not going with round-trip tickets. They're going with one way tickets.” He implied that in that election year African Americans have no intentions on having a friendly and peaceful protest march as did King. Malcom X used his statements as a warning to the government, that if it continued to prohibit African Americans from obtaining full equality, violence would be the only other options for African Americans to achieve equality immediately, even if that meant death. Hence his statement of,

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