Analysis of Malcolm X´s Speech: The Ballots or the Bullets

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Malcolm X once said, “It’ll be ballots, or it’ll be bullets. It’ll be liberty, or it will be death. The only difference about this kind of death—it’ll be reciprocal.” The Civil Rights Movement took place during the 1950’s-1960 and was a political movement for equality. Some of the leaders and followers were Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, and Malcolm X. The purpose for this movement was equal rights for all races. One very influential speech during this time period was by Malcolm X called “The Ballot or the Bullet.” He gave his speech on April 3, 1964 at the Cory Methodist Church in Cleveland, Ohio. The speech stressed the importance of how African Americans are created to have full equality like all other races. In Malcolm X’s “The Ballot or the Bullets”, he motivates his intended audience during the Civil Rights Movement by using rhetorical devices of tone and metaphor.
Malcolm X’s speech, “The Ballot or the Bullet” was a very influential speech during the Civil Rights Movement that won the hearts of millions of people. Throughout his speech, he tried to encourage the African-Americans to stand up for their rights and their right to vote. In the beginning of Malcolm’s speech, he states that even though he is Muslim he will not talk about religion because it can get in the way of their real means. He desired to aim a natural understanding between the African Americans so they can stand together regardless of what their religion might be. The name of the speech is composed of two major details, the “ballot” to vote and the “bullet” to use firearms as defense when needed. Within his speech, he compares the ballot to the bullet to show the importance of equality. Malcolm asserts within his speech that African Americans need to use ...

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...president is proof that the movement was successful. At last there is more equality for all races.

Works Cited

McNeil, Jeffrey. "A Better Tomorrow: Revisiting Malcolm X's 'The Ballot or the Bullet.'" Indy Reader. Indypendent Reader, 6 May 2013. Web. 26 Feb. 2014.
"A Message From Malcolm X: The Ballot or The Bullet." Kwanzaa Guide. Kwanzaa Guide, 26 May 2010. Web. 29 Feb. 2014.
Miller, Keith D., ed. "Malcolm X (1925- 1965)." College Cengage. Cengage College, n.d. Web. 21 Feb. 2014.
Newsome, Tyler. "Rhetorical Symposium 'The Ballot or the Bullet.'" Blog Spot. Blogger, 5 Oct. 2010. Web. 23 Feb. 2014.
Simon, John J., A. B. Spellman, and Jigs Gardner. "Malcolm X-His Legacy." Monthly Review, 1 Feb. 2005: 25. eLibrary. Web. 20 Feb. 2014.
X, Malcolm. "Ballot or the Bullet." Speech. Cleveland, Apr. 1964. Takin' It to the Streets. New York: Oxford UP, 1995. 138-42. Print.

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