Malcolm X Day: Celebrating the Power of Speech

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Malcolm X divided a nation for the better part of his civil rights campaign. This blog isn’t to pass judgment on his activism. It’s to drive home the point that his words held power at a time when African Americans hardly held any sway with the white elite.

Kennedys and King marks this Malcolm X Day with the following words.

“We are nonviolent with people who are nonviolent with us.”

Malcolm X didn’t believe in unprovoked violence but wasn’t entirely against the v-word either. The activist made this statement during “The Ballot or the Bullet” speech at the King Solomon Baptist Church on April 12, 1964. 

He was alluding to the Black people’s right to defend themselves should harm befall them in their struggle for equal rights. Although Malcolm occasionally lost patience, he was for displaying and using arms to protect himself and those around him and taught his support to follow by example.

“Dr. King wants the same thing I want. Freedom.”

Martin Luther King is often portrayed as the nonviolent figurehead of the civil rights movement to Malcolm’s violent and radical activist. Here’s the thing: Humans are complex creatures, whereas history is about perspective.

There’s no saying how much of what we know about these people’s personas is accurate and how much is adjusted to fit a narrative. Some say Malcolm’s faith led to him getting painted in a negative light.

If we, too, adjust our perspective to the setting of the words above, we may see Malcolm’s nonviolent tendencies, especially those he showed more toward the end of his life.

MLK Malcolm X

“I believe that there will ultimately be a clash between the oppressed and those that do the oppressing.”

These words are essential because of their relevance in our nation today. Systemic racism is a reality. Everything from education to healthcare to law and order is rigged against African Americans more than other racial groups.

Malcolm’s prediction of a clash came true during the nationwide marches after the death of George Floyd. To be fair, Malcolm followed this statement with, “I believe that there will be that kind of clash, but I don’t think it will be based on the color of the skin.”

This Malcolm X Day: Walk Through the Formative and Final Years of Malcolm X Online

The volunteers at Kennedys and King are nothing if not fair in their assessment of Malcolm X, who remains one of the most misunderstood activists of the civil rights movement. See the movement and its leaders from a different angle.

Question everything you know about the Malcolm X assassination now that his family has decided to sue law enforcement and intelligence for the roles they played.

Reach out for feedback and inquiries.

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