Malcolm X: “Message to the Grass Roots”

(1963)

Malcolm X’s “Message to the Grass Roots,” delivered in a Detroit church in 1963, is typically direct, blunt, and uncompromising. Malcolm X gained great fame in his own lifetime largely as the result of his provocative—and some would say inflammatory—speeches. He created the persona of an angry black man, critical of mainstream civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr. Malcolm X rejected the doctrine of nonviolence and the Christian tradition that inspired King and many of his followers. It seemed especially sinister to some that he advocated African American...

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Malcolm X (Library of Congress)

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