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Miller Classroom Issues and Strategies Malcolm X is one of the most controversial figures one could study. Most students, recognizing his enormous impact on recent American culture, will revel in discussions--or passionate debates--about his merits.
Those who have read the popular Autobiography of Malcolm X --or seen the Spike Lee movie based on it--will argue that Malcolm X was foolish to be duped by Elijah Muhammed or brilliant to recognize that he had been duped; that Malcolm X reached a beautiful, universal vision at the end of his life or that he did not; that he was unforgivably sexist or that his sexism was typical of the period.
Students will invariably attempt to relate Malcolm X to the racial uprising in Los Angeles and to other issues in race relations, including those on their own campuses.
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The first need is to direct the students, at the very least initially, to focus on "The Ballot or the Bullet" instead of jumping to an ultimate verdict on the Autobiography, on Malcolm X, or even on race relations in America. He attacked the well-established, sometimes unexamined tendency of African-Americans to identify with white America, passionately insisting that blacks identify instead with Africans, with their slave ancestors, and with each other.
In that vein, he declares, "No, I'm not an American. I'm one of the twenty-two million black people who are victims of Americanism.
Malcolm X urged all African-Americans to reject their last names, which were those of slave-owners, replacing them with "X" to stand for the lost African names of their ancestors. Thousands belonging to the Nation of Islam adopted this practice.
Because the "X" substituted for last names, it defined members of the Nation as a single "family" of brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles. The use of "X" also bracketed the names of other African-Americans, implicitly declaring that all of them were mistakenly identifying with whites, their slave masters.
The issue of violence loomed large in Malcolm X's rhetoric. In this speech and elsewhere, he refused to repudiate violence, realizing that most of the white Americans who applauded King's nonviolence would not react nonviolently themselves in the face of brutality.
By refusing to embrace nonviolence, Malcolm X made King look more moderate and more palatable than he would otherwise have appeared. By the time of "The Ballot or the Bullet," race dominated America's domestic agenda.
Millions watched police dogs tear into young African-American children protesting for integration in Birmingham. Presidents Kennedy and Johnson responded by proposing major civil rights legislation, which passed in the summer following "The Ballot or the Bullet.
Not only did conservative whites fail blacks, he maintained, so did "all these white liberals" who were supposedly allies. As he explains in this speech, many white liberals belonged to the Democratic party, which was often dominated by southern segregationists.
He wanted blacks to own the hotels. Malcolm X's own bleak childhood and criminal young adulthood helped shape his radical views and gave him insight into the lives of his primary audience--hundreds of thousands of African-Americans trapped in the ghettos of America's largest cities.
Significant Form, Style, or Artistic Conventions Malcolm X's jeremiads owe something to the appeals of Marcus Garvey, an earlier leader who instilled racial pride, and to Malcolm X's own father, a Garvey disciple.
Even though Malcolm X advocated Islam instead of Christianity, his style and impact derive in part from the role of the black Protestant preacher--a revered patriarchal figure free to denounce from the pulpit whomever he saw fit. Helping provoke this shift were speeches like this one, which was received enthusiastically.
Students can compare this talk to those that Malcolm X gave to largely white listeners. In some ways their analyses of the evils institutionalized in American life are quite similar. Though Malcolm X's blowtorch denunciations are harsher than King's, the main difference lies in King's willingness to grant whites a way around the guilt that King so skillfully evoked.
In King's rhetorical world, whites-- even ardent segregationists--could listen, change their ways, and learn to practice love and democracy. King claimed that his methods could actually win opponents over to his view. During most of his career Malcolm X gave whites no such break.
Instead he demanded separation from whites. He regarded integration not as a goal, but as a sentimental fiction. Toward the end of his life, he seemed more accepting of some whites, but his evolving vision was not entirely clear.
As James Cone explains, toward the end of their lives, King and Malcolm X were, in some ways, thinking alike. Both realized that, without economic muscle, masses of blacks would never prosper, no matter how much this nation espoused the theory of integration.
In "I've Been to the Mountaintop," King stressed the need for economic self-help and racial solidarity.'The Ballot or the Bullet' Speech Analysis.
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Uploaded by. Rhetorical Schemes of Balance: Antithesis: The juxtaposition of contrasting ideas, Ballot or the Bullet” Assonance: The repetition of similar vowel sounds, In literature, a plot device in which the audience’s or reader’s knowledge of events or individuals surpasses that of the.
This afternoon we want to talk about the ballot or the bullet. The ballot or the bullet explains itself.
But before we get into it, since this is the year of the ballot or the bullet, I would like to clarify some things that refer to me personally concerning my own personal position. Maybe it was all the preachin'. Maybe it was all the schoolin'. Whatever it was, Dr. King knew how to rhetoric the you-know-what out of speeches.
There's a little bit of everything in "Letter from Birmingham Jail": Dr. King makes an appeal to his readers' hearts and heads while alluding to the moral. In Malcolm X's Ballot or the Bullet speech, at one point he states: ' dripping with blood, dripping with the blood of the black man.
Is there a specific rhetorical term for this technique, where. Before we try and explain what is meant by the ballot or the bullet, I would like to clarify something concerning myself. I'm still a Muslim; my religion is still Islam.
That's my personal belief.