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Though many people.

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The two letters are written by revolutionary activists of civil rights, Martin Luther King, and Malcom X, both written with in a year of one another. Whereas, Martin Luther, author of Letters from.

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It was common for them to be given slave names during this time. Similarly, in his speech "The Ballot or the Bullet", Malcolm X cursed the actions of the white population without any attempts. Malcolm X, a Black Nationalist, Muslim minister and a human rights activist, was executed by men from the Black Muslim Movement cult that he had recently left for good. 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. This meeting was sponsored. Born May 19, one of nine children, to a Baptist preacher whose was hit by a street car, and whose death was said to have possibly been a murder by white people, Malcom X was raised by his mother until she was institutionalized.

After being put in foster care, and having issues in school, Malcom dropped out of school and became a troubled teen. A drug dealer, street hustler. So today, though Islam is my religious philosophy, my political, economic, and social philosophy is Black Nationalism. The political philosophy of Black Nationalism only means that the black man should control the politics and the politicians in his own community. The -- The time -- The time when white people can come in our community and get us to vote for them so that they can be our political leaders and tell us what to do and what not to do is long gone.

By the same token, the time when that same white man, knowing that your eyes are too far open, can send another negro into the community and get you and me to support him so he can use him to lead us astray -- those days are long gone too. We must -- We must understand the politics of our community and we must know what politics is supposed to produce.

We must know what part politics play in our lives. So the political philosophy of Black Nationalism only means that we will have to carry on a program, a political program, of re-education to open our people's eyes, make us become more politically conscious, politically mature, and then we will -- whenever we get ready to cast our ballot, that ballot will be -- will be cast for a man of the community who has the good of the community of heart.

The economic philosophy of Black Nationalism only means that we should own and operate and control the economy of our community. The white man -- The white man is too intelligent to let someone else come and gain control of the economy of his community. But you will let anybody come in and take control of the economy of your community, control the housing, control the education, control the jobs, control the businesses, under the pretext that you want to integrate. No, you're ought of your mind. The political -- The economic philosophy of Black Nationalism only means that we have to become involved in a program of reeducation to educate our people into the importance of knowing that when you spend your dollar out of the community in which you live, the community in which you spend your money becomes richer and richer; the community out which you take your money becomes poorer and poorer.

And then what happens? The community in which you live becomes a slum. It becomes a ghetto.

Essay on Malcom X's The Ballot of the Bullet

The conditions become run down. And then you have the audacity to -- to complain about poor housing in a run-down community. Why you run it down yourself when you take your dollar out. And every kind of solution that someone comes up with is just another trap. But the political and economic philosophy of Black Nationalism -- the economic philosophy of Black Nationalism shows our people the importance of setting up these little stores and developing them and expanding them into larger operations.

Now this is what you and I -- General Motors [is] the same way. It started out just a little rat race type operation. And it expanded and it expanded until today it's where it is right now. And you and I have to make a start and the best place to start is right in the community where we live. So our people not only have to be reeducated to the importance of supporting black business, but the black man himself has to be made aware of the importance of going into business. And once you and I go into business, we own and operate at least the businesses in our community.

What we will be doing is developing a situation wherein we will actually be able to create employment for the people in the community. And once you can create some -- some employment in the community where you live it will eliminate the necessity of you and me having to act ignorantly and disgracefully, boycotting and picketing some practice some place else trying to beg him for a job. When you have -- He is your enemy. On the other hand, some of you think you came here on the Mayflower.

So as you can see brothers and sisters, today -- this afternoon, it's not our intention to discuss religion. Keep it between you and your God. Whether you are -- Whether you are a Christian, or a Muslim, or a Nationalist, we all have the same problem. They attack all of us for the same reason; all of us catch hell from the same enemy. We suffer political oppression, economic exploitation, and social degradation -- all of them from the same enemy. This government has failed us; the government itself has failed us, and the white liberals who have been posing as our friends have failed us.

This is what you and I need to get with, and the only time -- the only way we're going to solve our problem is with a self-help program. Before we can get a self-help program started we have to have a self-help philosophy. Black Nationalism is a self-help philosophy. What's so good about it?

Malcolm X | The Ballot or the Bullet

You can stay right in the church where you are and still take Black Nationalism as your philosophy. You can stay in any kind of civic organization that you belong to and still take black nationalism as your philosophy. You can be an atheist and still take black nationalism as your philosophy. This is a philosophy that eliminates the necessity for division and argument.


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Once you change your philosophy, you change your thought pattern. Once you change your thought pattern, you change your -- your attitude. Once you change your attitude, it changes your behavior pattern and then you go on into some action. Right there it brings you down. What -- What goes with it? What -- Think of the image of a someone sitting. An old woman can sit. An old man can sit. A chump can sit. A coward can sit. Anything can sit. When we look like -- at other parts of this earth upon which we live, we find that black, brown, red, and yellow people in Africa and Asia are getting their independence.

It is nationalism that brought about the independence of the people in Asia. Every nation in Asia gained its independence through the philosophy of nationalism. Every nation on the African continent that has gotten its independence brought it about through the philosophy of nationalism. And it will take black nationalism -- that to bring about the freedom of 22 million Afro-Americans here in this country where we have suffered colonialism for the past years.

America is just as much a colonial power as England ever was. Tragically, Malcolm was cut-down before his vision could reach fruition. Nonetheless, it may be useful to examine the tenets articulated in this speech to assess their relevance fifty years later. Expectations in Black America were very high in the wake of the historic March on Washington in August of Black leaders and their allies were pressing President Lyndon Johnson and Congress to pass substantive legislation to ensure the rights of African Americans as first class citizens in this nation.

Breaking with his prior posture of non-engagement in electoral politics, a skeptical Malcolm X indicated that offered America the opportunity to prove that it was serious about guaranteeing the rights of its formerly enslaved sons and daughters. Hence, one could infer that he preferred the stance of Fannie Lou Hamer and the freedom fighters from Mississippi who formed the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party — an independent political organization.

Malcolm was also firm about the importance of Black Nationalism as the ideological framework for the Black Freedom Struggle.

Black people should control the politics, politicians, economics and social life health, education, welfare in our communities. Fifty year later, the question is how does Black progress measure up in relation to the tenets laid out in The Ballot or the Bullet?