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Message to Grassroots Malcolm X

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Message to Grassroots Malcolm X.

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Malcolm X was born Malcolm Little on May 19, 1925 in Omaha, Nebraska. His mother, Louise Norton Little, was a homemaker occupied with the family's eight children. His father, Earl Little, was an outspoken Baptist minister and avid supporter of Black Nationalist leader Marcus Garvey. Earl's civil rights activism prompted death threats from the white supremacist organization Black Legion, forcing the family to relocate twice before Malcolm's fourth birthday.

Intelligent and articulate, Malcolm was appointed as a minister and national spokesman for the Nation of Islam. Elijah Muhammad also charged him with establishing new mosques in cities such as Detroit, Michigan and Harlem, New York. Malcolm utilized newspaper columns, as well as radio and television to communicate the NOI's message across the United States. His charisma, drive and conviction attracted an astounding number of new members. Malcolm was largely credited with increasing membership in the NOI from 500 in 1952 to 30,000 in 1963.

  • The New York Times reported that Malcolm X was the second most sought after speaker in the United States in 1963.
  • On June 29, 1963 Malcolm lead one of the nations largest civil rights events known as the Unity Rally in Harlem.
  • Cassius Clay, the famous boxer decides to convert to the Muslim religion and join the Nation of Islam after Malcolm befriends and ministers to him. In February 1964, Clay announces he has changed his name to Muhammad Ali.
"Message to the Grass Roots" was one of Malcolm X's last speeches as a member of the Nation of Islam. This speech was very important during the Civil Rights Movement and the Black Power era of unity.

In this speech Malcolm X let all black people know that they all need to come together as a force to stand up against segregation and separation of the words negro and black. Malcolm was trying to say that the blacks needed to be more assertive. They needed to stop letting the white man stomp all over them. Past revolutions were about land and involved bloodshed. That's what the black revolution needed to be. It needed bloodshed to make the white man scared of them.


The main message that Malcolm X is trying to relay here is that all African Americans need to come together and fight as one. Without doing this Africans didn't stand a chance against America.

key points
Key Points:
  • You sure don’t catch hell ’cause you’re an American; ’cause if you was an American, you wouldn’t catch no hell. You catch hell ’cause you’re a black man. You catch hell, all of us catch hell, for the same reason.

This point describes that if you were American you wouldn’t catch hell but they are all African so they catch all kinds of hell and pain for it.

What you and I need to do is learn to forget our differences. When we come together, we don’t come together as Baptists or Methodists.

In this quote he is trying to explain that coming together doesn’t just mean in the same room as different people, but in a room all mixed as one body of equal people.

"It's just like when you've got some coffee that's too black, which means it's too strong. What you do? You integrate it with cream, you make it weak. If you pour too much cream in, you won't even know you ever had coffee. It used to be hot, it becomes cool. It used to be strong, it becomes weak.“

In this quote Malcolm is trying to say that if you integrate everyone and come together you wouldn't even know the difference or impurities of the once black “coffee” as he puts it.

Put the white man out of our meetings, number one, and then sit down and talk shop with each other. That’s all you gotta do.

In this quote Malcolm is saying that the main problem is the whites. Nothing more, nothing less.

Malcolm X described the Bandung Conference of 1955, at which representatives of Asian and African nations met to discuss their common enemy: Europeans. He said that just as the members of the Bandung Conference put aside their differences, so Black Americans must put aside their differences and unite.

In this point Malcolm is referring to a certain conference in which everyone of all races got together and discussed a common problem: Europeans

“What you and I need to do is learn to forget our differences. When we come together, we don’t come together as Baptists or Methodists. You don’t catch hell ’cause you’re a Baptist, and you don’t catch hell ’cause you’re a Methodist. You don’t catch hell ’cause you’re a Methodist or Baptist. You don’t catch hell because you’re a Democrat or a Republican. You don’t catch hell because you’re a Mason or an Elk. And you sure don’t catch hell ’cause you’re an American; ’cause if you was an American, you wouldn’t catch no hell. You catch hell ’cause you’re a black man. You catch hell, all of us catch hell, for the same reason.

So we are all black people, so—called Negroes, second—class citizens, ex—slaves. You are nothing but a [sic] ex—slave. You don’t like to be told that. But what else are you? You are ex—slaves. You didn’t come here on the "Mayflower." You came here on a slave ship —— in chains, like a horse, or a cow, or a chicken. And you were brought here by the people who came here on the "Mayflower." You were brought here by the so—called Pilgrims, or Founding Fathers. They were the ones who brought you here.

We have a common enemy. We have this in common: We have a common oppressor, a common exploiter, and a common discriminator. But once we all realize that we have this common enemy, then we unite on the basis of what we have in common. And what we have foremost in common is that enemy —— the white man. He’s an enemy to all of us. I know some of you all think that some of them aren’t enemies. Time will tell.”