Rhetorical Analysis of the Ballot or the Bullet by Malcolm X Essay

Pages: 3 (954 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Black Studies

Ballot or the Bullet, Malcolm X was very effective. In fact, this may very well have been the beginnings of the reason for his assassination. While this may seem to many to be a morbid analysis, this author defines effectiveness as getting people to take action. First of all, his enemies took action against him and blacks were inspired to fight on, especially in the creation of the Black Panther Party.

Rhetorical Analysis

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The change to a more militant form of resistance was found in Malcolm X To understand Malcolm, we have to break down his ideological beliefs as stated in his autobiography. His expressed beliefs changed much over the course of time. When he was a spokesman for the Nation of Islam, he taught black supremacy and preached the separation of black and white Americans which contrasted with the civil rights movement's emphasis upon integration. After his break with the Nation of Islam in 1964 he became a Sunni Muslim, disavowed racism and expressed a willingness to work with all civil rights leaders (such as Martin Luther King Jr.) while though still emphasizing black self-determination and self-defense. What was eye-opening for Malcolm was his trip to Mecca in 1964 which revealed Muslims of all colors involved in the Haj. At that time, he came to believe that Islam could be used as a vehicle to unite different races of humanity (Malcom X and Halley, vi-xiii). Al of the above experiences framed the perspectives for Malcolm and the militant audience that he wanted to reach as well as the enemies he wanted to make live in fear.

TOPIC: Essay on Rhetorical Analysis of the Ballot or the Bullet by Malcolm X Assignment

Throughout the speech, African-Americans were encouraged by Malcolm to stand up for their precious rights and to vote. He states that in the unfortunate event of non-compliance for black demands for equality from the government, they may need to take matters into their own hands use arms. The main mission of the speech was to convince African-Americans to join up with the Civil Rights Movement to finally stop disfranchisement. In the beginning of the speech, Malcolm states the fact that though he is a Muslim, he would not talk about his religion as it was not germane to the subject and would simply cause another means of African-American separation one from another. He continually said instead that the emphasis would lie upon an overall common ground for all African-Americans in the nation. He was trying to achieve a common understanding between African-Americans that they should stick together regardless of their religion. The title of the speech comes from the ballot to vote and the bullet to the use of arms if necessary. However, it is also a reference to how he related a ballot and a bullet. He stated, "A ballot is like a bullet. You don't throw your ballots until you see a target, and if that target is… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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