“The Ballot or the Bullet” – Malcolm X’s Best Speech Rhetorical Analysis

This is FREE sample
This text is free, available online and used for guidance and inspiration. Need a 100% unique paper? Order a custom essay.
  • Any subject
  • Within the deadline
  • Without paying in advance
Get custom essay

Malcolm X was one of the black african americans to use physical violence as the way to achieve the rights to all african americans at the time. He was very different from MLK because MLK induce non-violence while Malcolm did, but they had the same goal, which was to have the brother and sisters to proclaim their rights. His famous speech “ The Ballot or the Bullet” was delivered in Washington wanted to reach out to all the brothers and sisters to get into action and work together and come as one so they would not lose control of the battle.

“The Ballot or the Bullet” as mentioned, was one of Malcolm X’s best speech. His topic was the reasons black people needed to stand against the American Government. The things that people learned from his speech was that no one should feel inferior to the other despite the racial or other differences. Another important piece of information is that freedom defines humanity and it is always has a cost, but we should never give up on freedom. Their are different lessons or different important messages that can be hindsited on. The speech is not pointed out for “just” the brothers and the sisters, but for anyone who faces segregation all over the globe. His apporach was called” Black Nationalism” which this was sepersated into 3 main categories: Political philosphy, where “ the black man should control the poltics of his own community.”, Economic philosphy, where “ the balck man should have a hand in controlling the economy of the so-called negro community.” Social philsophy, where “ instead of teh black man trying to force himself into the society of teh white man, we should be trying to elimate from our own society the ills and the defects and make ourselves likable and socable among our own kind.”

The audience was the black people of America & The American government. His purpose was to Convice the balck people of America that they needed to start standing up for themselves as mention earlier, and that they should fight the American Governmet. He imform the American government that black people were coming for them. This outcry gave meaningful messages that helped us today worldwide to stand up for what is right and use voilence as a since of defense whereas for evil or wrong doing.the speech implies, Every other etnicity except for the “African not Americans” were not welcomed into America. The speech also implies do not vote unless it is known what you want to vote for and why. A ballot is like a bullet in the sense of them both lonly being used once for a specific target.

His statement about Uncle Sam is interesting as he tries to claim that Uncle Sam’s hands are dripping with the blood of the African American. He then calls Uncle Sam a hypocrite and how he stands as the leader of freedom, yet African American’s are not free. Providing a negative image to the country his people dwell in does not seem to me to be the best idea as even if they attain their freedom, there will still be this wall between blacks and the rest of society. Also not everyone in the country is responsible for his pain.

This statement is what I want to look at the closest. He seems to refuse to acknowledge the use of government and instead believes that they should make it known that they should have their own rights. He refuses cooperation, which is a must for successful negotiation and instead believes that a certain supremacy exists and they can go above the current system in place. Yes, they were treated unfairly, but that still doesn’t mean they can establish their own rule to create their own rights. This goes back to our title, The Ballot or the Bullet. He seems to feel that if the ballot fails, then violence is the only alternative. This is not the case as it would just provide a negative image for his people and deter success. I understand he wants to motivate his people but the cost and damage he is willing to take would in the end provide no means to an end and just harm his people even more.

In summary, Malcolm X’s speech was very very powerful and it helped the people around the world and not to condone voilence but rather be defensive and attack the weak point of that, that brought us down. As I satated, the speech is very powerful and effective just as MLK “ I Have A Dream” speech was. These 2 leader changed the game that brought us together as a whole, even though their are some still prohibit the colors but just in a more subtle since of manner.


Cite this paper

“The Ballot or the Bullet” – Malcolm X’s Best Speech Rhetorical Analysis. (2020, Sep 22). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/the-ballot-or-the-bullet-malcolm-xs-best-speech/



What is Malcolm X's rhetorical strategy in the ballot or the bullet?
Malcolm X's rhetorical strategy in The Ballot or the Bullet was to appeal to the emotions of his audience by using strong language and vivid imagery, while also presenting a clear and logical argument for the importance of black political empowerment. He used repetition and rhetorical questions to engage his audience and encourage them to take action.
What was Malcolm X's most famous speech?
"The Ballot or the Bullet" was a speech delivered by Malcolm X on April 3, 1964. In the speech, he advocated for African Americans to exercise their right to vote, but warned that if the government continued to mistreat them, they would resort to violence.
What was the main point of the ballot or the bullet?
In 1964, it's the ballot or the bullet” (Paragraph 59). By repeating the “Ballot or the Bullet” in these situations, Malcolm made it clear that the bullet was a legitimate option. The use of the phrase was necessary in order to show how far the Black community was willing to go in its struggle for Civil Rights .
why does malcolm x call uncle sam a hypocrite?
Uncle Sam is a hypocritical figure, because he is to blame for the mass violation of African-Americans' rights and still has "the audacity or the nerve to stand up and represent himself as the leader of the free world." Uncle Sam, Malcolm X says, is a criminal himself, who is somehow still running the court system.
We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

Peter is on the line!

Don't settle for a cookie-cutter essay. Receive a tailored piece that meets your specific needs and requirements.

Check it out