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Literacy Reflection

In: English and Literature

Submitted By xxibanikaaa
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Anika Her
The Ballot or the Bullet Speech Analysis Malcolm X gave his speech by persuading African Americans to inundate their differences, only to learn that they all had the same issue: “political oppression, economic exploitation, and social degradation at the hands of the white man.” Noting that 1964 was the year of the elections, he asked his audience to choose whether they wanted to merge with white communities as one to receive equal rights along with voting for who will sit in the White House and who will sit in the dog house, or to stand up through the years of injustice they have received. He then warns them by declaring that it will end up in a situation where bullets will take place instead of not putting in a ballot. While delivering his speech, it is seen that he attempts to reunite all African-Americans by using rhetoric. Malcolm also mentions that every human should be treated equally and given equal rights no matter what race you were. In addition, he also impersonated these issues into his perspective for his audience and to hopefully persuade them as well by providing characteristic uses of both language and imagery. Then, he reveals how democrats are deceivers and portrays that as long as the Americans had control of both the Senate and House, the African-Americans will never gain a helping hand from them. His describes himself through a quote by stating that he was not an anti-democrat or an anti-republican. All he wanted was to know the sincerity and the strategies they have been using on African-Americans. Through this quote, it showed a lot about his character and what kind of person he was. To put it simply, Malcolm was a good person who had good intentions towards himself and the black community. He and his fellow Africans were neither violent nor harmful people as well as not against the white community, they were against the exploitation and degradation given to them by their oppressors. Never backing down from seeking equal rights for African-Americans, he and his speech, "The Ballot or The Bullet", provided a powerful and intense motivation to his peer’s beliefs as well as the message of his thoughts and emotions that was well delivered to them. Therefore, Malcolm X uses language, imagery, parallelism and alliteration to give his speech on April 3, 1964.
Despite using foul language and an angry and critic tone, he was able to expand their morale through their feelings. He also points out that he and his audiences were just Africans in America. Through this point, he uses parallelism to create emphasis that even though they live in America, the country that they see as freedom, they are considered as nothing but Africans who are not “free”. Not only that, he even mentions that despite how biased they are of America as a “free” country, there are those who still sing the song that slaves used to sing as faith in hope that they will get freedom one day. Malcolm then creates this picture where the white community is a widespread disease that is unable to control their own growth after referring this as a racial equality issue. Since it had affected millions of blacks from around the country, he opens up their eyes and helps them come to realization that they too, are just as capable and smart as the white population. Nonetheless, in reality, all he did was manipulate his audience so that they could gain the courage, pride and self-confidence.
Closing up his speech, Malcolm X then diverts his attention towards the real issue that the civil rights movement was fighting for: segregation, one that separates the two populations. He argues that segregated communities are where people live in there, are controlled by outsiders who control not only the community but the economy. He continues on that they will give you the lowest or worst that there is to offer, yet it doesn't mean you're segregated because you have your own. He adds on that you have to control yours, just like a white man has control of his. In this sense, instead of fighting to unite the two races, he declares this for the separation of the two. Therefore, he’s able to persuade his audience by showing them that with his solution, they will achieve equality.

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