Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Ballot or The Bullet

For my English class we're reading speeches by Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I'm a bit ashamed to say this is the first time I've listened to Malcolm X's speech "The Ballot or The Bullet." After listening to it though, I can understand why teachers may not be so keen to highlight it. This speech is about anger and mistreatment and a call to action. It has a very different tone from the speeches by King.

I know this is long, but it is worth it. Really.

If you've seen Good Hair by Chris Rock then you'll see parallels between the beginning of this speech and what Rev. Al Sharpton mentions in the movie about how it's wrong that black people can't break into the black hair business even though the products are only used by black people. He talks about how this sort of thing would never happen in reverse (black people owning and dominating a business that only white people use).

There are so many things I love about this speech that I don't even know where to start. Simply amazing.

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