Malcolm X Speaks
X. Malcolm; edited and with prefatory notes by George BreitmanPublisher: Grove Press, USA
Year Published: 1965
Resource Type: Book
Cx Number: CX6369
A series of speeches, seminars and press conferences given by Malcolm X during the last years of his life in 1964 and early 1965.
Abstract: Malcolm X Speaks presents a series of speeches, seminars and press conferences given by Malcolm X during the last years of his life in 1964 and early 1965 prior to his assassination. The aim of the collection is to present some of the major ideas and concepts Malcolm brought to the civil rights movement. Transcribed from audio recordings, Malcolm's ambitious nature and powerful presence is transferred from the stage to the page.
His humour and determination are captured through his words. The beginning of one of his speeches titled The Ballot Or The Bullet, addressed the audience and panel, "Mr. Moderator, Brother Lomax, brothers and sisters, friends and enemies: I just can't believe everyone in here is a friend and I don't want to leave anybody out."
In the same speech Malcolm speaks about the injustice and exploitation driving his struggle as a civil rights activist. "No, I'm not an American. I'm one of the 22 millions black people who are the victims of Americanism. One of the 22 million black people who are the victims of democracy, nothing but disguised hypocrisy. So, I'm not standing here speaking to you as an American, or a patriot, or a flag-saluter, or a flag-waver - no, not I. I'm speaking as a victim of this American system. And I see America through the eyes of a victim. I don't see any American dream; I see an American nightmare."
Malcolm's ability to connect with his audiences and his determination to speak out against injustice, racism and exploitation shine throughout the book and highlight what made him such an influential and revered leader.
Thirteen of Malcolm's speeches are presented in Malcolm X Speaks and each provides an excellent source of primary material for research into Malcolm's life and the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Discussions of African American struggles, ideas of freedom and the concept of 'Black Power' are each highlighted in his speeches. Malcolm X Speaks is an excellent source allowing for a better understanding of a man often misunderstood.
[Abstract by William Stevenson]