MALCOLM X: You’re Afraid To Bleed (Message To The Grass Roots excerpt)

Malcolm X (1925-1965) is one of the greatest orators in the 20th century.  Malcolm X in his speech “Message to the Grassroots” on November 10, 1963 in Detroit Michigan provides a rally cry for oppressed Americans to rise up and fight for what revolutionaries before them have. The speech provides a clear “enemy” and a call to action. Malcolm X uses power question as a rhetorical tool to force the audience to react and participate in his speech, keeping the audience engaged.

In a time when social movements are being intimidated through means of violence Malcolm X emphasizes the right of self defense.   Malcolm X explains how the American Revolution and French revolution establish historical precedent for violent revolution.  Malcolm X values natural rights and personal liberties that are outlined in the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.  Malcolm X points out the hypocrisy of America, the land of the free

Thus, Malcolm X, with this speech provides powerful logic and a call for action for change .  America is not the land of the free, freedom and “the American dream” is based on privileges that are attached to a person’s class, race and gender.



1 comment so far

  1. bfell on

    I agree with your assertion on Malcolm X’s speech. Especially during the 1960’s and 1970’s, during which the Civil Rights Movement was in full force, the power of a speech in promoting a call to action gained particular emphasis. During that era a number of monumental speeches were made that could all be considered great examples of how to evoke a call to action in a speech. The speeches that we made during the Civil Rights Movement and the beliefs expressed in them acted to set the tone for social change and revolution as it relates to public protest.

    Brendan Fell

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: