In the United States, individuals from all backgrounds celebrate Martin Luther King Jr on Black History Month. One controversial black leader that doesn’t receive the same recognition in the mainstream media is Malcolm X. Malcolm X challenged the racist and oppressive system on underdeveloped neighborhoods through his speeches at rallies and wrote an autobiography. He empowered his African American community across the nation. In this essay I will be analyzing three discourses done by Malcolm X himself and how all three discourses were successful in getting his argument addressed to his intended audience.
The autobiography of Malcolm X was published in 1965 during the African American Civil Rights movement. Malcolm sets up his credibility by having a mentored relationship with the Nation of Islam (NOI) leader Elijah Muhammad, establishing the NOI first daily paper and traveling to meet with world pioneers. When he became working close with Muhammad, he immediately obtained acknowledgment. Muhammad had a great measure of power; which motivated Malcolm to gain that as well. His relationship with Muhammad permitted individuals to understand that he is somebody worth paying attention to.
Under Muhammad, he established the country’s first daily paper, met with world leaders by traveling across the world. As a messenger, Malcolm empowered world leaders of Europe, Middle East, and Africa and also educated them about the world and NOI. Malcolm also informs the African American community the significance of education. While incarcerated, Malcolm educated himself on how to read and write. “I saw that the best thing | could do was get hold of a dictionary—to study, to learn some words” (Haley 198) He disciplined himself every day in prison by using the dictionary.
Malcolm realized the only way to become somebody and successful is through education. With education, he believed African Americans would have a promising future. He also believed that they would be able to articulate words and ideas to prove to the white people that they could be smart too. Malcolm had a tough life growing up, however that didn’t stop him from achieving his goals. Malcolm’s intended audience was the African American community. He wrote this book to tell his audience his story and how he faced so many obstacles, but it never stopped him from achieving great things.
He believed that regardless of the circumstances, African Americans can too achieve greatness through education and by working hard. Malcolm also appeals to his audience emotions by recounting explicit stories of what he went through growing up and the cause of it was done by white individuals. He did this to gain sympathy from African Americans and to get them to see that white people are evil. He states, “I remember being suddenly snatched awake into a frightening confusion of pistol shots and shouting and smoke and flames.
My father had shouted and shot at the two white men who had set the fire and were running away. Our home was burning down around us”. He wanted them to recognize the greater part of the terrible things that happened to him so they would get to be distinctly irate and think back about the majority of the awful things that they went through. He realized that making the black people remember the horrible things that the white oppressors did to them would make them angry and understand that Malcolm’s argument could be right.
Malcolm built his credibility in this autobiography by giving his audience a detailed background of his life and how the many obstacles he went through shaped him to be who he was. On April 12, 1964 in Cleveland, Ohio, the “Ballot or the Bullet” was given one month after Malcolm X voiced that he was separating from the Nation of Islam, due to having a fallout with its leader Elijah Muhammad. His intended audience was the African American community. He establishes his credibility by encouraging his entire audience to put their differences aside, so that we can all come together as one.
By showing his audience that he does take this cause serious, he openly tells his audience that he is Muslim and is aware that his audience may not share the same beliefs as him. However, Malcolm informs ience that he is willing to put his religious beliefs aside. by stating “we all should keep our religious beliefs in the closet and between ourselves and with our God” By Malcolm, being so open with his audience shows them that he is willing to give up something he cares about in order to come together as a union to achieve his purpose.
Right after Malcolm gave his speech, he quickly became an alarming figure towards the African American community across the nation, since he had prompted numerous African-Americans to utilize force. He states, “Don’t be throwing out any ballots. A ballot is like a bullet. You don’t throw your ballots until you see a target, and if that target is not within your reach, keep your ballot in your pocket” To understand his frustration, this speech was given during the Civil Rights Movement. He wanted all African Africans to exercise their right to vote, so they can fight for equality.
His tone was considered aggressive and he was attempting to connect to the more youthful African Americans in the community. His purpose for this speech was if the government were to stand in their way from achieving their equality, they have the right to bear arms and use physical force. Throughout his speech he uses a lot of repetition to make his audience feel that they were let down and looked like idiots by their own government. “We should” is repeated numerous times throughout his speech, “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”. By his strong use of repetition was his way to remind his audience that they cannot sit back and tolerate the disrespect and that the entire community must do something about it. Malcolm X accepts a kind of officer appearance through his use of repetition. He gives orders to the African American community to comprehend the legislative issues that circles around their communities and the U. S all together. He states the significance of this teaching and what the impacts will be if this teaching doesn’t happen.
He uses championship boxer Muhammad Ali as a comparison to ensure how the utilization of violence will help them accomplish his purpose. He uses the influence of Ali “singing up on some freedom and him swinging up on some freedom, and how ultimately, swinging is what helped him achieve his goal” This tone demonstrated the audience that he didn’t share any of Martin Luther King Jr pacifist approach. In a way promises his audience that violence is the answer, to guarantee order to seize social equality for African Americans.
On God and Judgment of White America”, was a speech Malcolm spoke to the Nation of Islam in New York City. Malcolm’s argument is that those in positions of power will ruin America soon. By achieving his objective, he makes a connection by referencing scriptural events with current events to associate the past to the present, as method for anticipating the fate of America. Malcolm X connects scriptural components to the black society to form his argument. He told the large audience how it was slavery that caused the Ancient Babylon and Greece to downfall and later in the demise of Europe.
Malcolm used biblical events as examples to start his argument. For example, he states, “White America too will be utterly destroyed by her own sins…. and Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches us that as it was divine will in the case of the destruction of the slave empires of the ancient and modern past, America’s judgement and destruction will also be brought about by divine will and divine power” Malcolm encourages his audience to understand that chaos will indeed come to America, but it will be brought on by the force of God.
Through this logical decision, Malcolm was able to relate tories common to his audience and also making more extensive allegations about the nation and society as a whole. Malcolm always alludes to Islam, where he describes his religion as authentic. He questions, “Why is the American white man so set against the twenty-two million Negroes learning about the religion of Islam? Islam is the religion that elevates the morals of the people who want to do right” These components additionally build up a notoriety of the Black Muslim development that is solid, and that doesn’t stoop to the American culture as he proposed.
Through his speech, Malcom X has the capacity to identify with the African American community and the condition they are in. He developed a close relationship with the crowd as an individual from their community. Throughout his discourse, he touched on the struggles of African Americans and the continuous conflict against the roadblock to equal opportunities, formed by the administration and elites. Addressing the regular afflictions of the black community, he figured out that he comprehends and knew about the problems that the black community is facing.
This empowered Malcolm X to distinguish the action in which this prevented black growth in society and after that offer his very own answer. He drowns himself into the audience pain and thoughts, permitting him to forward his religious contentions for the Nation of Islam development. Although Malcolm X is still viewed as one of most controversial figure of our time, he was able successfully challenged the racist and oppressive system through his discourses in order to give the African American community confidence, power and hope that they all could too be just as successful in achieving great things through education and hard work.