Monday, October 25, 2010

Post #3

The purpose of Malcolm X's "What does Mississippi have to do with Harlem?" is that although he is in Harlem and the African Americans in the North were "free", the Mason-Dixon line was still in effect at the time. Malcolm X was prepared to fight for equality in any way that he found was necessary. He states in his speech, "...We will never communicate talking one language and he's talking another language. He's talking the language of violence...Let's learn his language"(page 1). In this statement he believes that if African Americans are to achieve equality they should act in the same means that the racist whites do as well, in reference to the lynching, shooting and beating of African Americans. This speech is directed towards the African Americans all across the U.S. because he says, "America is Mississippi. There is no such thing as the Mason-Dixon line... If one room in your house is dirty, you've got a dirty house." He is trying to reach out to other African Americans in order to fight for their rights. This speech produces the hope for an equal nation and could evoke others to fight for the rights that they deserve as well.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sharon - Interesting post: two things.

    1) It's interesting that you quote Malcolm X describe violence as a 'language' that you speak: clearly, neither he nor members of his organization actually imitated whites by lynching them etc - that would be suicidal. So - and we'll see this with the Panthers as well - the question becomes, what does it mean to speak out for the right to use violence in self-defense, in response to violence? How would that impact different audiences to which the speech might be directed.

    2) In the first sentence you say "The Mason Dixon line was alive and in effect" and in the quote he says "there is no such thing as the Mason-Dixon" line. Can you explain? Do a little research to figure out what he's referring to if need be.