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The Image of Modern Malcolm X

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The infamous Malcolm X receives a tribute by a movie that came out in the year of 1992 admiring his achievements. The movie was named, of course, Malcolm X. He stated multiple speeches that was within this movie, but there was one speech that stood out and had a strong stand to it. The name of the speech was: Address to the People of Harlem on the ‘White Man’. Malcolm had this speech in Harlem during the Civil Rights era. Malcolm purpose of having this speech was to alarm the black people about what was going on within our society, and how the white man is trying to destroy the black people. Through this movie, the speech steps out to the modern crowd of today. It is to grasp the attention of today’s generation and to persuade them that there is a change that needs to be done within the black communities today. Malcolm X completes this task by showing credibility but primarily using logic within this speech.

Malcolm Little, later known as Malcolm X, was born on May 19, 1925 in the city of Omaha, Nebraska. Later, he was forced to move out of town because the continuous intimidation by the Ku Klux Klan happening to his family, to East Lansing, Michigan (Editor, 1). His parents were convinced that moving out of town was going to lessen their chances, but actually, things for them had gotten worse. Malcolm X father, Earl Little, was killed which caused his mother, Louise Norton, to fall into deep depression; she never recovered from the tragedy (Editor, 2). This caused Malcolm X to move out and move on with his life. Despite the childhood he had, he turned to the great Elijah Muhammad. He became part of the Nation of Islam and was known as the best minister in the corporation. He was introduced to the struggle of African American freedom in America and the white supremacy. He later on went from the name Malcolm Little to Malcolm X due to the respect of all his ancestors during slavery (Editors, 2). From that point on, Malcolm X had become known for his robust word usage, and his importance of ideas on African American power.

The magnificent African American, Malcolm X, in his modernized movie speech, touches on the topic of black people being robbed blind of their freedom. This speech was of course simplified or in a less complicated version of one of his speeches because it is being made into a movie. He primarily used logic within the speech, but he also to gained credibility at the beginning of the powerful speech:

I’m not here this afternoon as a Republication, nor as a Democrat; not as a Mason, nor as an Elk; not as an Protestant, nor a Catholic; not as a Christian, nor a Jew; not as a Baptist, nor a Methodist; in fact, not even as an American, because if I was an American, the problem that confronts our people today wouldn’t even exist (Malcolm X, 1).

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Malcolm X started this speech very concisely with a sturdy statement that would grasp the audience attention on what would he said next. This part of the speech is initializing that he was not there to preach to the audience about wrong and rights. He was there to make the audience realize what is exactly happening in their own eyes. He was there as him. He there as the brother of his people. He was there as a trustworthy friend of his people. He was there as an African American. Malcolm X was there to inform the people of Harlem on the reality of their situation. The beginning of the speech is the most important part. That exact part of the speech determines whether not the audience would take him seriously. This is the part of the speech when Malcolm decided to get to the point. There was no climax, no rising action, no resolution; it was just at the point. In addition, that is what pulled the audience in. Unlike this part of the speech, the rest of his speech was on the very much so on the logical side.

Malcolm X used logic so intelligently within this speech. He would make a statement, and then he would give an explanation on exactly why that particular statement was made. In addition, it would not be just any kind of statement. It would be a statement the modern world can connect to. The speech was put in such way that we are suppose or able to relate to that specific statement. That is helpful to the modern generation because they can adjust to what Malcolm is trying to say and make changes. For example, Malcolm X states in the movie:

They send drugs in Harlem down here to pacify us! They send alcohol down here to pacify us! They send prostitution down here to pacify us! Why you can’t even get drugs in Harlem without the White Man’s permission! You can’t get prostitution in Harlem without the White Man’s permission! You can’t get gambling in Harlem without the White Man’s permission! Every time you break the seal on that liquor bottle, that’s a Government seal you’re breaking (Malcolm 1-2).

A prime example of making a statement and explaining it. Malcolm implies that the White Man sends all this confusion into the black culture to keep us caged and prisoned. He also implies the White Man is the reason why the black culture has been injected with the confusion. The confusion would be the prostitution, drugs, and gambling in the black culture. He specifically argued that there would never be disruption in our black communities if the White Man did not agreed to it. This is how the black culture been robbed of the freedom blindly. You are still not freed from being under controlled from the White Man. The only difference between the 1960s freedom and the 2000s freedom is the physical appearance, but we are mentally enslaved.

On the day of February 21, 1965, the “X” was assassinated. It was just because he was trying to do the right thing for his people and be a different leader. Even though Malcolm had a rough child hood, he did no let that get in the way of his next day goals. He fought for the black culture. He took a stand in what he believed in. His legacy goes on. There are still people in the world that still wears the “X” clothing to represent him. Malcolm X did all that he could do while he was alive. The movie industry didn’t make this movie about Malcolm X for just entertainment. It was for us to realize that it is time for a change in our culture. The change is way overdue and something needs to take action now.

Work Cited

  1. Carson, Clayborne. 'Malcolm X.' American National Biography (From Oxford University Press) (2010): Research Starters. Web. 13 Apr. 2016.
  2. Editors, 'Malcolm X.' A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2016.
  3. Malcolm X, “Address to the People of Harlem on the 'White Man'”. November 1992, American Rhetoric, 200. 20 Mar. 2016.
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The Image of Modern Malcolm X. (2022, Jun 16). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 5, 2024, from
“The Image of Modern Malcolm X.” Edubirdie, 16 Jun. 2022,
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