Malcolm X : A Speech Of The Civil Rights Movement Essay

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On April 3, 1964, Malcolm X delivered a speech that would drastically influence change in the course of the civil rights movement. The Ballot or the Bullet was delivered at a time when African-American outrage was at its peak. 1964 was a year that involved African-Americans being brutalized by white police officers, discriminated against by white business owners, and hated by the white community at large. 1964 followed the year in which the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing resulted death of four young girls and President John F. Kennedy was assassinated (Vox). The movement towards freedom and equality continued and Malcolm X gave this speech when the reassurance of leadership was needed. Although Malcolm X was already a well-known and credible leader of the time, analyzing his use of rhetorical appeals proved to be very beneficial. In his speech he asserts, in a variety of ways, that the “white man” has wronged the black community and it is time to fight back. Granted, there were some fallacies in his argument, his overall use of ethos, logos and pathos was very successful. He set out to prove that 1964 was the year of the “ballot or the bullet” and he did just that. Before getting into the depth of his speech, Malcolm X establishes his own credibility by stating:
I would like to clarify some things that refer to me personally - concerning my own personal position. I 'm still a Muslim. That is, my religion is still Islam. My religion is still Islam. I still…

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