“Message to the Grass Roots” – Malcolm X (Nov. 10, 1962)


“‘Message to the Grass Roots’ is a public speech delivered by human rights activist Malcolm X. The speech was delivered on November 10, 1963, at the Northern Negro Grass Roots Leadership Conference, which was held at King Solomon Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan. Malcolm X described the difference between the ‘Black revolution’ and the ‘Negro revolution’, he contrasted the ‘house Negro‘ and the ‘field Negro’ during slavery and in the modern age, and he criticized the 1963 March on Washington. ‘Message to the Grass Roots’ was ranked 91st in the top 100 American speeches of the 20th century by 137 leading scholars of American public address.  Malcolm X began his speech by emphasizing the common experience of all African Americans, regardless of their religious or political beliefs:

What you and I need to do is learn to forget our differences. When we come together, we don’t come together as Baptists or Methodists. You don’t catch hell because you’re a Baptist, and you don’t catch hell because you’re a Methodist. You don’t catch hell ’cause you’re a Methodist or Baptist. You don’t catch hell because you’re a Democrat or a Republican. You don’t catch hell because you’re a Mason or an Elk, and you sure don’t catch hell because you’re an American; because if you were an American, you wouldn’t catch hell. You catch hell because you’re a Black man. You catch hell, all of us catch hell, for the same reason.[4]

Not only did Black Americans share a common experience, Malcolm X continued, they also shared a common enemy: white people. He said that African Americans should come together on the basis that they shared a common enemy. … Public Enemy edited two samples from ‘Message to the Grass Roots’ for the introduction to their 1987 song ‘Bring the Noise‘, making it sound like Malcolm X said ‘Too black, too strong.’ …”
Wikipedia
“Message to the Grass Roots” (Video), “Message to the Grassroots”
[PDF] Malcolm X Speaks
amazon: Malcolm X Speaks

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