Rhetorical Analysis Of 'Message To Grassroots' By Malcolm X

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Malcolm X has been considered one of the most influential leaders in African American history. He was one of the most active advocates for black rights and rejected the mainstream ideas of civil rights leader such as Martin Luther King Jr. (Rollyson “Malcolm X”). Through speeches such as Message to Grassroots, Malcolm X uses the “house negro” and the “field negro” as a metaphor for the difference between the movement towards integration advocated by Martin Luther King and the Nation if Islam’s movement towards separation. He calls for unified opposition to stand up and fight against the white man. Malcolm X conveys in this speech the anger and fear that lived in the hearts of most African American at the time. Malcolm X was born Malcolm…show more content…
It would be one of the last speeches he would give as a member of the Nation of Islam. The speech was given to a congregation of African American people desperate for some good news. The March on Washington had taken place weeks earlier and President Kennedy had just been elected. On September 15, 1963 the 16th Baptist Church in Birmingham Alabama had been bombed by members of the KKK killing four young girls. This was a turning point in the civil right movement as it motivated many people to take action (UCLA film and television archive). Malcolm X addresses the bombing in Message to Grassroots. Many of the people had come to hear him speak on the results of the nonviolent movement, which is exactly what he…show more content…
“So I cite these various revolutions, brothers and sisters, to show you — you don’t have a peaceful revolution. You don’t have a turn-the-other-cheek revolution. There’s no such thing as a nonviolent revolution. [The] only kind of revolution that’s nonviolent is the Negro revolution. The only revolution based on loving your enemy is the Negro revolution. The only revolution in which the goal is a desegregated lunch counter, a desegregated theater, a desegregated park, and a desegregated public toilet; you can sit down next to white folks on the toilet. That’s no revolution” (Malcolm X “Message to Grassroots). Malcolm X again uses anaphora with the repetition of the word desegregated and the repetition of revolution. He also appeals to the fight in his audience with the use of pathos. He appeals to their anger towards the white man to convey his message that they must fight together to destroy their oppressor. This is a direct attack on Martin Luther King Jr. King wanted what Malcolm X calls a “negro revolution” that is peaceful and without bloodshed. Malcolm X says that this is impossible, if change is to be accomplished then there must be violence there must be

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