You may choose to have the students complete the activities of this lesson individually, as partners or in small groups of no more than 3 or 4 students. The students will read excerpts from a speech delivered by Malcolm X, "The Ballot or the Bullet," and use a document analysis organizer to facilitate a close reading of the text and track their understanding on both literal and inferential levels. Student understanding of the text will be determined through classroom discussion and the organizers completed by the students.
Civil rights activist Malcolm X was born Malcolm Little, but Malcolm changed his name because he felt that his last name had been imposed on his family by a slave holder. When Malcolm was young, his family suffered greatly at the hands of white supremacists. However, the police called both events accidents. Malcolm joined a controversial group devoted to securing rights for African Americans, called the Nation of Islam. He became a national spokesman for the group but left it after he became disillusioned with its leadership.
When asked what should be done to guarantee equal rights for African Americans, Malcolm X replied, "Our objective is complete freedom, justice and equality by any means necessary. You may choose to have the students do the lesson individually, as partners, or in small groups of no more than 3 or 4 students. However, they each saw a different way of gaining social justice and addressing the challenges facing African Americans. The students will compare and contrast the speeches that they have analyzed and choose the leader whose methods and message they found to be the most convincing.
They will then write an essay that argues a point of view in support of one of the texts and refutes the arguments made in the other. The civil rights leaders Dr. Both of them fought for equality and justice for African Americans. Both of them saw a need for immediate action in order to secure those rights. However, they differed greatly in their strategy and tactics. They worked from opposite ends of the activist spectrum toward a goal that was shared by both of them. As Malcolm X put it, "Dr. King wants the same thing I want—freedom! This assignment may be an in-class essay, which will require students to write under a time limit, or it may be given as a take-home essay.
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I lost my companions, and sort of squeezed my way, inch by inch, closer to the church. But directly between me and the church there was an impassable wall of people. Squeezing my way up to this point, I had considered myself lucky to be small; but now my size worked against me for, though there were people on the church steps who knew me, whom I knew, they could not possibly see me, and I could not shout.
I squeezed a few more inches, and asked a very big man ahead of me please to let me through.
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Let me see you get through this big Cadillac. I leaned up on the car, making frantic signals, and finally someone on the church steps did see me and came to the car and sort of lifted me over. I talked to Jim Brown for a minute, and then somebody led me into the church and I sat down. The church was packed, of course, incredibly so.
Ralph David Abernathy sat in the pulpit. I remembered him from years ago, sitting in his shirt-sleeves in the house in Montgomery, big, black, and cheerful, pouring some cool, soft drink, and, later, getting me settled in a nearby hotel. In the pew directly before me sat Marlon Brando, Sammy Davis, Eartha Kitt—covered in black, looking like a lost, ten-year-old girl—and Sidney Poitier, in the same pew, or nearby. Marlon saw me, and nodded.
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The atmosphere was black, with a tension indescribable—as though something, perhaps the heavens, perhaps the earth, might crack. Everyone sat very still. The actual service sort of washed over me, in waves. I did not want to weep for Martin, tears seemed futile.
Malcolm and Martin, closer than we ever thought - cepjonotme.ga
But I may also have been afraid, and I could not have been the only one, that if I began to weep I would not be able to stop. There was more than enough to weep for, if one was to weep—so many of us, cut down, so soon. Medgar, Malcolm, Martin: and their widows, and their children.
The long, dark sister, whose name I do not remember, rose, very beautiful in her robes, and in her covered grief, and began to sing. The song rang out as it might have over dark fields, long ago, she was singing of a covenant a people had made, long ago, with life, and with that larger life which ends in revelation and which moves in love. She stood there, and she sang it.
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How she bore it, I do not know, I think I have never seen a face quite like that face that afternoon. She was singing it for Martin, and for us. At last, we were standing, and filing out, to walk behind Martin home. I found myself between Marlon and Sammy.
Their attitudes towards the White Americans
I had not been aware of the people when I had been pressing past them to get to the church. But, now, as we came out, and I looked up the road, I saw them. They were all along the road, on either side, they were on all the roofs, on either side. Every inch of ground, as far as the eye could see, was black with black people, and they stood in silence. It was the silence that undid me. I started to cry, and I stumbled, and Sammy grabbed my arm. We started to walk. It is not possible for me to speak of them without a sense of loss and grief and rage; and with the sense, furthermore, of having been forced to undergo an unforgivable indignity, both personal and vast.
Our children need them, which is, indeed, the reason that they are not here: and now we, the blacks, must make certain that our children never forget them. This endeavor has doomed the American nation: mark my words. Before either had had time to think their new positions through, or, indeed, to do more than articulate them, they were murdered. Of the two, Malcolm moved swiftest and was dead soonest , but the fates of both men were radically altered I would say, frankly, sealed the moment they attempted to release the black American struggle from the domestic context and relate it to the struggles of the poor and the nonwhite all over the world.
To hold this view, it is not necessary to see C. Slaveholders do not allow their slaves to compare notes: American slavery, until this hour, prevents any meaningful dialogue between the poor white and the black, in order to prevent the poor white from recognizing that he, too, is a slave. The contempt with which American leaders treat American blacks is very obvious; what is not so obvious is that they treat the bulk of the American people with the very same contempt.
But it will be sub-zero weather in a very distant August when the American people find the guts to recognize this fact. They will recognize it only when they have exhausted every conceivable means of avoiding it. In the meantime, in brutal fact, all of the institutions of this nation, from the schools to the courts to the unions to the prisons, and not forgetting the police, are in the hands of that white majority which has been promising for generations to ameliorate the black condition. And many white Americans would like to change the black condition, if they could see their way clear to do so, through the unutterable accumulation of neglect, sorrow, rage, despair, and continuing, overriding, totally unjustifiable death: the smoke over Attica recalls the bombs of Birmingham and the liberal Mr.
Rockefeller reveals himself as being even more despicable than his openly illiberal confreres further down. But it is not important, however irresistible, to accuse Mr. Rockefeller of anything. Struck numerous times at close range, Malcolm X was declared dead after arriving at a nearby hospital. In the early s, Malcolm X began working with acclaimed author Alex Haley on an autobiography. The New York Times called it a "brilliant, painful, important book," and Time magazine listed it as one of the 10 most influential nonfiction books of the 20th century.
Malcolm X has been the subject of numerous movies, stage plays and other works, and has been portrayed by actors like James Earl Jones , Morgan Freeman and Mario Van Peebles. Both the film and Washington's portrayal of Malcolm X received wide acclaim and were nominated for several awards, including two Academy Awards. In the immediate aftermath of Malcolm X's death, commentators largely ignored his recent spiritual and political transformation and criticized him as a violent rabble-rouser.
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