Rights for Black People: Malcolm X

By the early 1960’s Malcolm X emerged as a leading voice of the Civil Rights Movement. Malcolm wanted to fight for the rights of black people because of the racist abuse he and many others has suffered. He spoke passionately at rallies – big gatherings – and events and lots of people listened to his messages.

Task 1: Write the definition of racism and segregation.

Task 2: Watch the two videos.

Task 3: Create a list of five things which happened in Malcolm X’s life, using the information here.

The following is a famous quote by Malcolm X.

We declare our right on this earth to be a human being, to be respected as a human being, to be given the rights of a human being in this society, on this earth, in this day, which we intend to bring into existence by any means necessary.

Task 4: Why do you think that some people disagreed with his ideas?

Malcolm X’s early speeches are full of violent language, although he always said that he was only saying that black people should fight back if attacked, not start any violence. 

He was also very clear in these speeches that, no matter how well-meaning white people were, whites would never want black equality, because it would come at the expense of white people. He rejected offers of help from white people and would not hold discussions with white politicians or officials. 

After his pilgrimage to Mecca in 1964, after he had converted to Islam, he softened in his beliefs and ideas and was open to working with white people. 

Task 5: Why do you think that his views softened so much?

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