Malcolm X at London School of Economics (February 11, 1965)

Ensuring Socio-economic Justice

Malcolm X (Malik el-Shabazz)

Shawwal 22, 1389 1970-01-01

by Malcolm X (Malik el-Shabazz)

[Introduction missing]

It is only being a Muslim which keeps me from seeing people by the color of their skin. This religion teaches brotherhood, but I have to be a realist—I live in America, a society which does not believe in brotherhood in any sense of the term. Brute force is used by white racists to suppress nonwhites. It is a racist society ruled by segregationists.

Where the government fails to protect the Negro he is entitled to do it himself. He is within his rights. I have found the only white elements who do not want this advice given to undefensive Blacks are the racist liberals. They use the press to project us in the image of violence. There is an element of whites who are nothing but cold, animalistic racists. That element is the one that controls or has strong influence in the power structure. It uses the press skillfully to feed statistics to the public to make it appear that the rate of crime in the Black community, or community of nonwhite people, is at such a high level. It gives the impression or the image that everyone in that community is criminal. And as soon as the public accepts the fact that the dark-skinned community consists largely of criminals or people who are dirty, then it makes it possible for the power structure to set up a police-state system. Which will make it permissible in the minds of even the well-meaning white public for them to come in and use all kinds of police methods to brutally suppress the struggle on the part of these people against segregation, discrimination, and other acts that are unleashed against them that are absolutely unjust.

They use the press to set up this police state, and they use the press to make the white public accept whatever they do to the dark-skinned public. They do that here in London right now with the constant reference to the West Indian population and the Asian population having a high rate of crime or having a tendency toward dirtiness. They have all kinds of negative characteristics that they project to make the white public draw back, or to make the white public be apathetic when police-state-like methods are used in these areas to suppress the people’s honest and just struggle against discrimination and other forms of segregation.

A good example of how they do it in New York: last summer, when the Blacks were rioting—the riots, actually they weren’t riots in the first place; they were reactions against police brutality. And when the Afro-Americans reacted against the brutal measures that were executed against them by the police, the press all over the world projected them as rioters. When the store windows were broken in the Black community, immediately it was made to appear that this was being done not by people who were reacting over civil rights violations, but they gave the impression that these were hoodlums, vagrants, criminals, who wanted nothing other than to get into the stores and take the merchandise.

But this is wrong. In America the Black community in which we live is not owned by us. The landlord is white. The merchant is white. In fact, the entire economy of the Black community in the States is controlled by someone who doesn’t even live there. The property that we live in is owned by someone else. The store that we trade with is operated by someone else. And these are the people who suck the economic blood of our community.

And being in a position to suck the economic blood of our community, they control the radio programs that cater to us, they control the newspapers, the advertising, that cater to us. They control our minds. They end up controlling our civic organizations. They end up controlling us economically, politically, socially, mentally, and every other kind of way. They suck our blood like vultures.

And when you see the Blacks react, since the people who do this aren’t there, they react against their property. The property is the only thing that’s there. And they destroy it. And you get the impression over here that because they are destroying the property where they live, that they are destroying their own property. No. They can’t get to the Man, so they get at what he owns.

This doesn’t say it’s intelligent. But whoever heard of a sociological explosion that was done intelligently and politely? And this is what you’re trying to make the Black man do. You’re trying to drive him into a ghetto and make him the victim of every kind of unjust condition imaginable. Then when he explodes, you want him to explode politely! You want him to explode according to somebody’s ground rules. Why, you’re dealing with the wrong man, and you’re dealing with him at the wrong time in the wrong way.

Another example of how this imagery is mastered, at the international level, is the recent situation in the Congo. Here we have an example of planes dropping bombs on defenseless African villages. When a bomb is dropped on an African village, there’s no way of defending the people from the bomb. The bomb doesn’t make a distinction between men and women. That bomb is dropped on men, women, children, and babies. Now it has not been in any way a disguised fact that planes have been dropping bombs on Congolese villages all during the entire summer. There is no outcry. There is no concern. There is no sympathy. There is no urge on the part of even the so-called progressive element to try and bring a halt to this mass murder. Why?

Because all the press had to do was use that shrewd propaganda word that these villages were in “rebel-held” territory. “Rebel-held,” what does that mean? That’s an enemy, so anything that they do to those people is all right. You cease to think of the women and the children and the babies in the so-called rebel-held territory as human beings. So that anything that is done to them is done with justification. And the progressives, the liberals don’t even make any outcry. They sit twiddling their thumbs, as if they were captivated by this press imagery that has been mastered here in the West also.

They refer to the pilots that are dropping the bombs on these babies as “American-trained, anti-Castro Cuban pilots.” As long as they are American-trained, this is supposed to put the stamp of approval on it, because America is your ally. As long as they are anti-Castro Cubans, since Castro is supposed to be a monster and these pilots are against Castro, anybody else they are against is also all right. So the American planes with American bombs being piloted by American-trained pilots, dropping American bombs on Black people, Black babies, Black children, destroying them completely—which is nothing but mass murder—goes absolutely unnoticed.

They take this man Tshombe—I guess he’s a man—and try and make him acceptable to the public by using the press to refer to him as the only one who can unite the Congo. Imagine, a murderer—not an ordinary murderer, a murderer of a prime minister, the murderer of the rightful prime minister of the Congo—and yet they want to force him upon the people of the Congo, through Western manipulation and Western pressures. The United States, the country that I come from, pays his salary. They openly admit that they pay his salary. And in saying this, I don’t want you to think that I come here to make an anti-American speech. I wouldn’t come here for that. I come here to make a speech, to tell you the truth. And if the truth is anti-American, then blame the truth, don’t blame me.

He’s propped up by American dollars. The salaries of the hired killers from South Africa that he uses to kill innocent Congolese are paid by American dollars. Which means that I come from a country that is busily sending the Peace Corps to Nigeria while sending hired killers to the Congo. The government is not consistent; something is not right there. And it starts some of my African brothers and sisters that have been so happy to see the Peace Corps landing on their shores to take another look at that thing, and see what it really is. [From the audience: “What is it?”] Exactly what it says: Peace Corps, get a piece of their country.

So what the press does with its skillful ability to create this imagery, it uses its pages to whip up this hysteria in the white public. And as soon as the hysteria of the white public reaches the proper degree, they will begin to work on the sympathy of the white public. And once the sympathy reaches the proper degree, then they put forth their program, knowing that they are going to get the support of the gullible white public in whatever they do. And what they are going to do is criminal. And what they are doing is criminal.

How do they do it? If you recall reading in the paper, they never talked about the Congolese who were being slaughtered. But as soon as a few whites, the lives of a few whites were at stake, they began to speak of “white hostages,” “white missionaries,” “white priests,” “white nuns”—as if a white life, one white life, was of such greater value than a Black life, than a thousand Black lives.

They showed you their open contempt for the lives of the Blacks, and their deep concern for the lives of the whites. This is the press. And after the press had gotten the whites all whipped up, then anything that the Western powers wanted to do against these defenseless, innocent freedom fighters from the eastern provinces of the Congo, the white public went along with it. So to get towards the end of that, what it has done, just in press manipulation, the Western governments have permitted themselves to get trapped, in a sense, in backing Tshombe, the same as the United States is trapped over there in South Vietnam. If she goes forward she loses, if she backs up she loses. She’s getting bogged down in the Congo in the same way. Because no African troops win victories for Tshombe. They never have. The only war, the only battles won by the African troops, in the African revolution, in the Congo area, were those won by the freedom fighters from the Oriental province.

They won battles with spears, stones, twigs. They won battles because their heart was in what they were doing. But Tshombe’s men from the central Congo government never won any battles. And it was for this reason that he had to import these white mercenaries, the paid killers, to win some battles for him. Which means that Tshombe’s government can only stay in power with white help, with white troops.

Well, there will come a time when he won’t be able to recruit any more mercenaries, and the Western powers, who are really behind him, will then have to commit their own troops openly. Which means you will then be bogged down in the Congo the same as you’re bogged down over there now in South Vietnam. And you can’t win in the Congo. If you can’t win in South Vietnam, you know you can’t win in the Congo.

You think you can win in South Vietnam? The French were deeply entrenched. The French were deeply entrenched in Vietnam for a hundred years or so. They had the best weapons of warfare, a highly mechanized army, everything that you would need. And the guerrillas come out of the rice paddies with nothing but sneakers on and a rifle and a bowl of rice, nothing but gym shoes—tennis shoes—and a rifle and a bowl of rice. And you know what they did in Dien Bien Phu. They ran the French out of there. And if the French were deeply entrenched and couldn’t stay there, then how do you think someone else is going to stay there, who is not even there yet. Yes, all of them are brothers. They had a bowl of rice and a rifle and some shoes. I don’t care whether they came from China or South Vietnam. And the French aren’t there anymore. We don’t care how they did it; they’re not there anymore. The same thing will happen in the Congo.

See, the African revolution must proceed onward, and one of the reasons that the Western powers are fighting so hard and are trying to cloud the issue in the Congo is that it’s not a humanitarian project. It’s not a feeling or sense of humanity that makes them want to go in and save some hostages, but there are bigger stakes.

They realize not only that the Congo is a source of mineral wealth, minerals that they need, but the Congo is so situated strategically, geographically, that if it falls into the hands of a genuine African government that has the hopes and aspirations of the African people at heart, then it will be possible for the Africans to put their own soldiers right on the border of Angola and wipe the Portuguese out of there overnight.

So that if the Congo falls, Mozambique and Angola must fall. And when they fall, suddenly you have to deal with Ian Smith. He won’t be there overnight once you can put some troops on his borders. Oh yes. Which means it will only be a matter of time before they will be right on the border with South Africa, and then they can talk the type of language that the South Africans understand. And this is the only language that they understand.

I might point out right here and now—and I say it bluntly—that you have had a generation of Africans who actually have believed that they could negotiate, negotiate, negotiate, and eventually get some kind of independence. But you’re getting a new generation that is being born right now, and they are beginning to think with their own mind and see that you can’t negotiate upon freedom nowadays. If something is yours by right, then you fight for it or shut up. If you can’t fight for it, then forget it.

So we in the West have a stake in the African revolution. We have a stake for this reason: as long as the African continent was dominated by enemies, and as long as it was dominated by colonial powers, those colonial powers were enemies of the African people. They were enemies to the African continent. They meant the African people no good, they did the African people no good, they did the African continent no good.

And then in the position that they were, they were the ones who created the image of the African continent and the African people. They created that continent and those people in a negative image. And they projected this negative image abroad. They projected an image of Africa in the people abroad that was very hateful, extremely hateful. And because it was hateful, there are over a hundred million of us of African heritage in the West who looked at that hateful image and didn’t want to be identified with it. We shunned it, and not because it was something to be shunned. But we believed the image that had been created of our own homeland by the enemy of our own homeland. And in hating that image we ended up hating ourselves without even realizing it.

Why? Because once we in the West were made to hate Africa and hate the African, why, the chain-reaction effect was it had to make us end up hating ourselves. You can’t hate the roots of the tree without hating the tree, without ending up hating the tree. You can’t hate your origin without ending up hating yourself. You can’t hate the land, your motherland, the place that you came from, and we can’t hate Africa without ending up hating ourselves.

The Black man in the Western Hemisphere—in North America, Central America, South America, and in the Caribbean—is the best example of how one can be made, skillfully, to hate himself that you can find anywhere on this earth.

The reason you’re having a problem with the West Indians right now is because they hate their origin. Because they don’t want to accept their origin, they have no origin, they have no identity. They are running around here in search of an identity, and instead of trying to be what they are, they want to be Englishmen. Which is not their fault, actually. Because in America our people are trying to be Americans, and in the islands you got them trying to be Englishmen, and nothing sounds more obnoxious than to find somebody from Jamaica running around here trying to outdo the Englishman with his Englishness.

And I say that this is a very serious problem, because all of it stems from what the Western powers do to the image of the African continent and the African people. By making our people in the Western Hemisphere hate Africa, we ended up hating ourselves. We hated our African characteristics. We hated our African identity. We hated our African features. So much so that you would find those of us in the West who would hate the shape of our nose. We would hate the shape of our lips. We would hate the color of our skin and the texture of our hair. This was a reaction, but we didn’t realize that it was a reaction.

Imagine now, somebody got nerve enough, some whites have the audacity to refer to me as a hate teacher. If I’m teaching someone to hate, I teach them to hate the Ku Klux Klan. But here in America, they have taught us to hate ourselves. To hate our skin, hate our hair, hate our features, hate our blood, hate what we are. Why, Uncle Sam is a master hate teacher, so much so that he makes somebody think he’s teaching love, when he’s teaching hate. When you make a man hate himself, why you really got it and gone.

By skillfully making us hate Africa and, in turn, making us hate ourselves, hate our color and our blood, our color became a chain. Our color became to us a chain. It became a prison. It became something that was a shame, something that we felt held us back, kept us trapped.

So because we felt that our color had trapped us, had imprisoned us, had brought us down, we ended up hating the Black skin, which we felt was holding us back. We ended up hating the Black blood, which we felt was holding us back. This is the problem that the Black man in the West has had.
The African hasn’t realized that this was the problem. And it was only as long as the African himself was held in bondage by the colonial powers, was kept from projecting any positive image of himself on our continent, something that we could look at proudly and then identify with—it was only as long as the African himself was kept down that we were kept down.

But to the same degree, during these recent years, that the African people have become independent, and they have gotten in a position on that continent to project their own image, their image has shifted from negative to positive. And to the same degree that it has shifted from negative to positive, you’ll find that the image of the Black man in the West of himself has also shifted from negative to positive. To the same degree that the African has become uncompromising and militant in knowing what he wants, you will find that the Black man in the West has followed the same line.

Why? Because the same beat, the same heart, the same pulse that moves the Black man on the African continent—despite the fact that four hundred years have separated us from that mother continent, and an ocean of water has separated us from that mother continent— still, the same pulse that beats in the Black man on the African continent today is beating in the heart of the Black man in North America, Central America, South America, and in the Caribbean. Many of them don’t know it, but it’s true.

As long as we hated our African blood, our African skin, our Africanness, we ended up feeling inferior, we felt inadequate, and we felt helpless. And because we felt so inferior and so inadequate and so helpless, instead of trying to stand on our own feet and do something for ourselves, we turned to the white man, thinking he was the only one who could do it for us. Because we were taught, we have been taught, that he was the personification of beauty and the personification of success.

At the Bandung Conference in 1955, one of the first and best steps toward real independence for non-white people took place. The people of Africa and Asia and Latin America were able to get together. They sat down, they realized that they had differences. They agreed not to place any emphasis any longer upon these differences, but to submerge the areas of differences and place emphasis upon areas where they had something in common.

This agreement that was reached at Bandung produced the spirit of Bandung. So that the people who were oppressed, who had no jet planes, no nuclear weapons, no armies, no navies—and despite the fact that they didn’t have this, their unity alone was sufficient to enable them, over a period of years, to maneuver and make it possible for other nations in Asia to become independent, and many more nations in Africa to become independent.

And by 1959, many of you will recall how colonialism on the African continent had already begun to collapse. It began to collapse because the spirit of African nationalism had been fanned from a spark to a roaring flame. And it made it impossible for the colonial powers to stay there by force. Formerly, when the Africans were fearful, the colonial powers could come up with a battleship, or threaten to land an army, or something like that, and the oppressed people would submit and go ahead being colonized for a while longer.

But by 1959 all of the fear had left the African continent and the Asian continent. And because this fear was gone, especially in regards to the colonial powers of Europe, it made it impossible for them to continue to stay in there by the same methods that they had employed up to that time.

So it’s just like when a person is playing football. If he has the ball and he gets trapped, he doesn’t throw the ball away, he passes it to some of his teammates who are in the clear. And in 1959, when France and Britain and Belgium and some of the others saw that they were trapped by the African nationalism on that continent, instead of throwing the ball of colonialism away, they passed it to the only one of their team that was in the clear—and that was Uncle Sam. Uncle Sam grabbed the ball and has been running with it ever since.

The one who picked it up, really, was John F. Kennedy. He was the shrewdest backfield runner that America has produced in a long time—oh yes he was. He was very tricky; he was intelligent; he was an intellectual; he surrounded himself with intellectuals who had a lot of foresight and a lot of cunning. The first thing they did was to give a reanalysis of the problem. They realized they were confronted with a new problem.

The newness of the problem was created by the fact that the Africans had lost all fear. There was no fear in them anymore. Therefore the colonial powers couldn’t stay there by force, and America, the new colonial power, neocolonial power, or neo-imperialist power, also couldn’t stay there by force. So they come up with a “friendly” approach, a new approach which was friendly. Benevolent colonialism or philanthropic imperialism. They called it humanitarianism, or dollarism. And whereas the Africans could fight against colonialism, they found it difficult to fight against dollarism, or to condemn dollarism. It was all a token friendship, and all of the so-called benefits that were offered to the African countries were nothing but tokens.

But from ‘54 to ‘64 was the era of an emerging Africa, an independent Africa. And the impact of those independent African nations upon the civil rights struggle in the United States was tremendous. Number one, one of the first things the African revolution produced was rapid growth in a movement called the Black Muslim movement. The militancy that existed on the African continent was one of the main motivating factors in the rapid growth of the group known as the Black Muslim movement, to which I belonged. And the Black Muslim movement was one of the main ingredients in the entire civil rights struggle.

Martin Luther King has held Negroes in check up to recently. But he’s losing his grip, he’s losing his influence, he’s losing his control.

I know you don’t want me to say that. But, see, this is why you’re in trouble. You want somebody to come and tell you that your house is safe, while you’re sitting on a powder keg. This is the mentality, this is the level of Western mentality today. Rather than face up to the facts concerning the danger that you’re in, you would rather have someone come along and jive you and tell you that everything is all right and pack you to sleep. Why, the best thing that anybody can tell you is when they let you know how fed up with disillusionment and frustration the man in your house has become.

So to bring my talk to a conclusion, I must point out that just as John F. Kennedy realized the necessity of a new approach on the African problem—and I must say that it was during his administration that the United States gained so much influence on the African continent. They removed the other colonial powers and stepped in themselves with their benevolent, philanthropic, friendly approach. And they got just as firm a grip on countries on that continent as some of the colonial powers formerly had on that continent. Not only on the African continent but in Asia too. They did it with dollars.

They used a new approach on us in the States, also. Friendly. Whereas formerly they just outright denied us certain rights, they began to use a new, tricky approach. And this approach was to make it appear that they were making moves to solve our problems. They would pass bills, they would come up with Supreme Court decisions. The Supreme Court came up with what they called a desegregation decision in 1954—it hasn’t been implemented yet; they can’t even implement it in New York City, where I live—outlawing the segregated school system, supposedly to eliminate segregated schooling in Mississippi and Alabama and other places in the South. And they haven’t even been able to implement this Supreme Court decision concerning the educational system in New York City and in Boston and some of the so-called liberal cities of the North.

This was all tokenism. They made the world think that they had desegregated the University of Mississippi. This shows you how deceitful they are. They took one Negro, named Meredith, and took all of the world press down to show that they were going to solve the problem by putting Meredith in the University of Mississippi. I think it cost them something like $15 million and they had to use about seven thousand troops—one or the other—to put one Black man in the University of Mississippi.

And then Look magazine came out with a story afterwards showing the exposé where the attorney general—at that time Robert Kennedy—had made a deal with Governor Barnett. They were going to play a game on the Negro. Barnett was the racist governor from Mississippi. Kennedy was one of these shining liberal progressives—Robert, that is. And they had made a deal, according to Look magazine—which all belongs to the same setup, so they must know what they are talking about. Look magazine said that Robert Kennedy had told Barnett, “Now, since you want the white votes in the South, what you do is you stand in the doorway and pretend like you’re going to keep Meredith out. And when I come, I’m going to come with the marshals, and force Meredith in. So you’ll keep all the white votes in the South, and I’ll get all the Negro votes in the North.”

This is what we face in that country. And Kennedy is supposed to be a liberal. He’s supposed to be a friend of the Negro. He’s supposed to be the brother of John F. Kennedy—all of them in the same family. You know, he being the attorney general, he couldn’t go down with that kind of deal unless he had the permission of his older brother, who was his older brother at that time.

So they come up only with tokenism. And this tokenism that they give us benefits only a few. A few handpicked Negroes gain from this; a few handpicked Negroes get good jobs; a few handpicked Negroes get good homes or go to a decent school. And then they use these handpicked Negroes, they put ‘em on television, blow ‘em up, and make it look like you got a whole lot of ‘em, when you only got one or two.

And this one or two is going to open up his mouth and talk about how the problem is being solved. And the whole world thinks that America’s race problem is being solved, when actually the masses of Black people in America are still living in the ghettos and the slums; they still are the victims of inferior housing; they are still the victims of a segregated school system, which gives them inferior education. They are still victims, after they get that inferior education, where they can only get the worst form of jobs.

And they do this very skillfully to keep us trapped. They know that as long as they keep us undereducated, or with an inferior education, it’s impossible for us to compete with them for job openings. And as long as we can’t compete with them and get a decent job, we’re trapped. We are low-wage earners. We have to live in a run-down neighborhood, which means our children go to inferior schools. They get inferior education. And when they grow up, they fall right into the same cycle again.

This is the American way. This is the American democracy that she tries to sell to the whole world as being that which will solve the problems of other people too. It’s the worst form of hypocrisy that has ever been practiced by any government or society anywhere on this earth, since the beginning of time.

It is the African revolution that produced the Black Muslim movement. It was the Black Muslim movement that pushed the civil rights movement. And it was the civil rights movement that pushed the liberals out into the open, where today they are exposed as people who have no more concern for the rights of dark-skinned humanity than they do for any other form of humanity.

To bring my talk to a conclusion, all of this created a hot climate, a hot climate. And from 1963, ‘64 it reached its peak. Nineteen sixty-three was started out in America by all of the politicians talking about this being the hundredth year since the Emancipation Proclamation. They were going to celebrate all over America “a century of progress in race relations.” This is the way January and February and March of 1963 started out.

And then Martin Luther King went into Birmingham, Alabama, just trying to get a few Negroes to be able to sit down at a lunch counter and drink an integrated cup of coffee. That’s all he wanted. That’s all he wanted. They ended up putting him in jail. They ended up putting thousands of Negroes in jail. And many of you saw on television, in Birmingham, how the police had these big vicious dogs biting Black people. They were crushing the skulls of Black people. They had water hoses turned on our women, stripping off the clothes from our own women, from our children.

And the world saw this. The world saw what the world had thought was going to be a year which would celebrate a hundred years of progress toward good race relations between white and Black in the United States— they saw one of the most inhuman, savage displays there in that country.
Right after that, this was followed by the assassination of John F. Kennedy, all by the same problem, and Medgar Evers, another one by the same problem. And it ended in the bombing of a church in Alabama where four little girls, Christians, sitting in Sunday school, singing about Jesus, were blown apart by people who claim to be Christians. And this happened in the year 1963, the year that they said in that country would mark a hundred years of good relations between the races.

By 1964...1964 was the year in which three civil rights workers, who were doing nothing other than trying to show Black people in Mississippi how to register and take advantage of their political potential—they were murdered in cold blood. They weren’t murdered by some unknown element. They were murdered by an organized group of criminals known as the Ku Klux Klan, which was headed by the sheriff and his deputy and a clergyman. A preacher, a man of the cloth, was responsible for the murder. And when they tell you what was done to the body of that little Black one that they found—all three were murdered, but when they found the three bodies they said that every bone in the body of the Black one was broken, as if these brutes had gone insane while they were beating him to death. This was in 1964.

Now 1965 is here, and you got these same old people, jumping up talking about the “Great Society” now is coming into existence. Nineteen sixty-five will be the longest and the hottest and the bloodiest year that has yet been witnessed in the United States. Why? I’m not saying this to advocate violence. I’m saying this after a careful analysis of the ingredients—the sociological, political dynamite that exists in every Black community in that country.

Africa is emerging. It’s making the Black man in the Western Hemisphere militant. It’s making him shift from negative to positive in his image of himself and in his confidence in himself. He sees himself as a new man. He’s beginning to identify himself with new forces. Whereas in the past he thought of his problem as one of civil rights—which made it a domestic issue, which kept it confined to the jurisdiction of the United States, a jurisdiction in which he could only seek the aid of white liberals within continental United States—today the Black man in the Western Hemisphere, especially in the United States, is beginning to see where his problem is not one of civil rights, but it is rather one of human rights. And that in the human rights context it becomes an international issue. It ceases to be a Negro problem, it ceases to be an American problem. It becomes a human problem, a problem of human rights, a problem of humanity, a problem for the world.

And by shifting his entire position from civil rights to human rights, he puts it on the world stage and makes it possible where today he no more has to rely on only the white liberals within continental United States to be his supporters. But he brings it onto the world stage and makes it possible for all of our African brothers, our Asian brothers, our Latin American brothers, and those people in Europe, some of whom claim to mean right, also to step into the picture and do whatever is necessary to help us to see that our rights are guaranteed us—not sometime in the long future, but almost immediately.

So the basic difference between the struggle of the Black man in the Western Hemisphere today from the past: he has a new sense of identity; he has a new sense of dignity; he has a new sense of urgency.

And above all else, he sees now that he has allies. He sees that the brothers on the African continent, who have emerged and gotten independent states, can see that they have an obligation to the lost brother who went astray and then found himself today in a foreign land. They are obligated. They are just as obligated to the brother who’s gone away as they are to the brother who’s still at home.

And just as you see the oppressed people all over the world today getting together, the Black people in the West are also seeing that they are oppressed. Instead of just calling themselves an oppressed minority in the States, they are part of the oppressed masses of people all over the world today who are crying out for action against the common oppressor.

Thank you.

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