The Dream and the Ballot or the Bullet
In the 1950s and 1960s in America, the equality of man envisioned by the Declaration of Independence was far from a reality. Martin Luther King Jr., a Baptist minister delivered his famous speech “I Have a Dream” August 28th, 1963 in Washington DC. He is credited with mobilizing supporters of desegregation and prompted the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Malcolm X delivered his famous speech “The Ballot or the Bullet” on April 12th, 1964 in Detroit. Though many people say Malcolm X was violent he made many good key points. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X both helped encourage African Americans, through their tough times. Accordingly, Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X both had individual claims that they presented in their speech. Martin Luther King Jr.’s claim was that, it is time for African Americans to gain their equality, freedom, and civil rights. One example of this is when he said “But one hundred years later the Negro still is not free”. He is saying that though the Emancipation Proclamation was signed years ago we are still not free. Another example is when he stated “Instead of honoring this scared obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked -insufficient funds-”. He is saying that yes America has written laws but coloreds are still not free. Malcolm X’s claim was that he wanted African Americans to exercise their right to vote. Also that if the government didn’t give African Americans equality then they might have to put matters into their own hands and take up the use of arms. One piece of evidence of this is when he says “The political philosophy of Black Nationalism only means that the black man should control the politics and the politicians in his own community”. He is trying to tell the black community to run for office and vote for each other. Another example is when he stated “But you will let anyone come in and take control of the economy of your...
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