by Malcolm X
May 19, 1925 - February 21, 1965
Malcolm's "The Bullet or the Ballot" speech, delivered during the interval between his separation from the Nation of Islam and his pilgrimage to Mecca, in April, 1964, lays out the new direction he envisioned for the Black Freedom Movement. It was also prescient, forecasting the explosive growth of Black Nationalism and militancy, and the Democratic Party's decline once the Dixiecrats switched allegiances to the Republicans. "When you see the amount of power that would be lost by the Democratic Party if it were to lose the Dixiecrat wing...you can see where it's against the interests of the Democrats to give voting rights to Negroes in states where the Democrats have been in complete power and authority ever since the Civil War."