The Ballot Or The Bullet

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Malcolm X was a prominent figure in both the civil rights movement and the nation of Islam in the 1950s and 60s. Malcolm constructed the idea of “Black Nationalism”, a movement fighting for the social, economic, and political freedom of African-Americans. In the speech “The Ballot or the Bullet” delivered on April 3rd, 1964 at Cory Methodist Church in Cleveland, Ohio Malcom X is discussing the 1964 election. He is communicating that all African-Americans have a choice and a voice in the election to come, and to use their “ballot” wisely; but he also states that if their ballot is rejected, and politics and government isn’t enough to bring about the change needed because of unjust and illegal laws that were in place to prevent African-Americans from having a fair vote, that they still have the choice of the “bullet”. He addressed CORE (Congress of Racial Equality), a group that was slowly shifting form non-violent protests to a more Black-Nationalist approach. He is speaking to CORE to motivated and fire up young African-Americans, to not stop the fight for freedom, and to emphasize the importance of the black vote. Malcom X uses Anaphora, diacope, epistrophe, allusion, and false dilemma to convey his striking purpose, while captivating and firing-up the audience. …show more content…
“So we’re trapped, trapped, double-trapped, triple-trapped. Anywhere we go we find that we’re trapped. And every kind of solution that someone comes up with is just another trap.” Malcolm is communicating that African-Americans are living in an oppressing society controlled by white people. The use of the word “trapped” is powerful and convincing, conveying more meaning then (for example) the words confined, restricted, and stuck. He then continues with “but the political and economic philosophy of Black Nationalism.” Malcolm X is brilliantly presenting and in a way “selling” the audience a solution of being “trapped”, this solution is “Black

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