I originally posted this in January of 2012. I’m reposting now in conjunction with my previous post: Malcolm X’s Homemade Education.

when is a party not a party?

In honor of today’s birthday of MLK, Jr., who delivered his famous I Have a Dream speech on August 28, 1963 in Washington D. C., I thought I would revisit one of my favorite Malcolm X speeches, The Ballot or the Bullet, which was delivered on April 3, 1964 at the Cory Methodist Church in Cleveland, Ohio, less than eight months after MLK, Jr.’s famous “March On Washington” speech, and less than five months after the decade’s archetypical assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Malcolm X believed that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had been bought and paid for by the white people, specifically by the white liberals, who then used Dr. King to harness in the black vote toward their social reform policies.

In the following speech, Malcolm X refers back, unkindly, to King’s march on Washington, when the I Have a Dream speech was delivered and when We Shall Overcome was sung by white…

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