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AP English Language and Composition Assignment Preparing to Write About Biography and Autobiography Readings Source A

Source: http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/malcolmxballotorbullet.htm The following is an excerpt from a political speech given by Malcolm X.

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This is why I say its the ballot or the bullet. Its liberty or its death. Its freedom for everybody or freedom for nobody. America today finds herself in a unique situation. Historically, revolutions are bloody. Oh, yes, they are. They havent never had a blood-less revolution, or a non-violent revolution. That dont happen even in Hollywood. You dont have a revolution in which you love your enemy, and you dont have a revolution in which you are begging the system of exploitation to integrate you into it. Revolutions overturn systems. Revolutions destroy systems. A revolution is bloody, but America is in a unique position. Shes the only country in history in a position actually to become involved in a blood-less revolution. The The Russian revolution was bloody; Chinese revolution was bloody; French revolution was bloody; Cuban revolution was bloody; and there was nothing more bloody then the American Revolution. But today this country can become involved in a revolution that wont take bloodshed. All shes got to do is give the black man in this country everything thats due him everything. I hope that the white man can see this, 'cause if he dont see it youre finished. If you dont see it youre going to be coming youre going to become involved in some action in which you dont have a chance. And we dont care anything about your atomic bomb; it's its useless because other countries have atomic bombs. When two or three different countries have atomic bombs, nobody can use them, so it means that the white man today is without a weapon. If youre gonna If you want some action, you gotta come on down to Earth. And there's more black people on Earth than there are white people on Earth.

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AP English Language and Composition Assignment Preparing to Write About Biography and Autobiography Readings Source B

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The Future in Their Past. Editorial. The Economist 21 Nov 1992: v325 n7786 p11(1). The following is an excerpt from an editorial that reconsiders Malcolm Xs legacy in relation to a popular movie about his life. One danger must first be avoided. The new commercial barrage of Malcolm X T-shirts, caps and snack foods threatens to flatten the man into a cardboard icon; or, worse, reduce him to a caricature, the separatist "prophet of rage", ranged against the moderate, integrationist King. That would be a shame, for two reasons. First, although Malcolm X in the early days had many bad ideas including the belief that all whites were evil, and that racism should be opposed "by any means necessary" he had others that remain valuable and pertinent. And although he and King held certain beliefs that could not be reconciled, especially about violence, just before their deaths the two men's philosophies had started to converge. Hence the second reason for hoping that Malcolm X, in his new incarnation as celluloid star, is not over-simplified. For whatever racial progress America now makes will be built not on one man's strategy or the other's, but on the common ground between them. As early as the mid-1960s, both men seemed to share a dawning sense that solutions to America's race problem would increasingly be economic rather than political. When King took his campaign from the rural south to the urban north, he realised that dismantling legal barriers to equality would not be enough to bring prosperity to ghetto blacks. For Malcolm X, who had never put any faith in integration, this was no revelation. He had long argued that "the American black man should be focusing his every effort on building his own businesses, and decent homes for himself." The passage of time has proved both men right. America's racial schisms are tightly bound up with divisions of wealth and income. Many blacks have benefited mightily from King's crusade. A third of them are now middle-class. Since 1950 the proportion of black workers with white-collar jobs has risen from 10% to 40%. For many of these richer, suburban blacks, a mixture of King's faith in integration and Malcolm X's emphasis on black pride has allowed them to enter, though not without difficulty, the mainstream of American life. But the process cannot stop there.

_____________ Copyright 2007 Apex Learning Inc. All rights reserved. This material is intended for the exclusive use of registered users only. No portion of these materials may be reproduced or redistributed in any form without the express written permission of Apex Learning Inc.

AP English Language and Composition Assignment Preparing to Write About Biography and Autobiography Readings Source C

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Haley, Alex. The Autobiography of Malcolm X. New York: Grove Press, 1965. 371-372. The following excerpt is from a letter written by Malcolm X after he participated in the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca. You may be shocked by these words coming from me. But on this pilgrimage, what I have seen, and experienced has forced me to re-arrange much of my thought-patterns previously held, and to toss aside some of my previous conclusions. This was not too difficult for me. Despite my firm convictions, I have been always a man who tries to face facts, and to accept the reality of life as new experience and new knowledge unfolds it. I have always kept an open mind, which is necessary to the flexibility that must go hand in hand with every form of intelligent search for truth. During the past eleven days here in the Muslim world, I have eaten from the same plate, drunk from the same glass, and slept in the same bed (or on the same rug) while praying to the same Godwith fellow Muslims, whose eyes where the bluest of blue, whose hair was the blondest of blond, and whose skin was the whitest of white. And in the words and in the actions and in the deeds of the white Muslims, I felt the same sincerity that I felt among the black African Muslims of Nigeria, Sudan, and Ghana. We were truly all the same (brothers) because their belief in one God had removed the white from their minds, the white from their behavior, and the white from their attitude. I could see from this, that perhaps if white Americans could accept the Oneness of God, then perhaps, too, they could accept in reality the Oneness of Man and cease to measure, and hinder, and harm others in terms of their differences in color. With racism plaguing America like an incurable cancer, the so-called Christian white American heart should be more receptive to a proven solution to such a destructive problem. Perhaps it could be in time to save America from imminent disaster the same destruction brought upon Germany by racism that eventually destroyed the Germans themselves.

_____________ Copyright 2007 Apex Learning Inc. All rights reserved. This material is intended for the exclusive use of registered users only. No portion of these materials may be reproduced or redistributed in any form without the express written permission of Apex Learning Inc.

AP English Language and Composition Assignment Preparing to Write About Biography and Autobiography Readings Source D
Novak, Marian Faye. Meeting Mr. X, American Heritage (Feb-Mar 1995): 36+.

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The following is an excerpt from a magazine article in when the author remembers her personal encounter with Malcolm X. For a few minutes, we sipped iced juice from silver glasses and spoke of ordinary small things the weather, good restaurants in Beirut, reliable cameras. Then Sara asked Malcolm X a question, and suddenly they were talking about white people and black people, and Sara was saying that she and I, because we were white, were responsible for most of the sins of the world, specifically the problems of black people. "I think you were absolutely right, Malcolm," she said, "when you accused the white man of having the devil in him." And leaning forward to look in his face she apologized, not just for herself and her own particular ancestors, but for me and mine, too, while Malcolm X nodded and smiled. Uncomfortable and awkward, I had wanted only to listen. But with Sara's general apology, I began to feel words rising in my throat. Perhaps it had something to do with my Cherokee great-grandmother her grandparents survivors of the Trail of Tears or with my own parents' struggle to get out of the cotton field of Oklahoma it's hard to say now, but when Sara finished, I said, "I'm sorry for what happened to you, Mr. X, but Sara doesn't speak for me. I really do not think I'm any more responsible for your troubles as a black man than you're at fault for mine as a white woman." And pointing at my freckled arm I said quietly, "I didn't choose this skin, but it's the only one I have and I'm afraid we'll both have to make do with it." Malcolm X looked steadily back at me for a long moment while I wished I were any place else on earth. And then I saw his mouth twitch, a quick pulling at the corners, less than a smile, but more much more than a smirk, and his eyes softened before they turned away.

_____________ Copyright 2007 Apex Learning Inc. All rights reserved. This material is intended for the exclusive use of registered users only. No portion of these materials may be reproduced or redistributed in any form without the express written permission of Apex Learning Inc.

AP English Language and Composition Assignment Preparing to Write About Biography and Autobiography Readings Source E
Jacoby, Tamar. Malcolm X, Commentary (Feb 1993): 27+. The following excerpt is from a magazine article on Malcolm X.

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Malcolm's true genius lay in his psychological insight: his understanding that at bottom the race problem was largely internal. He looked around the ghetto and saw omnipresent selfhatred--hatred learned from whites and based on nagging color consciousness. "Negro men and women," he wrote, have been "brainwashed into believing that the black people are 'inferior.'" They could never forget that they were black, nor could they ever ease their alienation from the white world. Malcolm X and the Muslims, instead of telling followers to suppress this painful sense of difference, urged them to turn it upside down: to convert it from shame to pride. Glory in your blackness, he said. Cultivate your sense of difference. Not only that: know that it makes you better than the white man. It was a brilliant stroke of jiujitsu, a quasi-Freudian alchemy. And at first blush, it seemed to work. It took only a few words, a few key concepts: the change from "Negro" to "black" and the famous slogan, "The white man is the devil." It was as if by magic, overnight, countless blacks turned their world inside out, training their hatred away from themselves and toward white society. Some of Malcolm X's admirers, blacks as well as whites, have suggested that the two halves of his proposition are separable: that blacks can find self-love without descending into hatred for the white man. In truth, for Malcolm X and most of his followers, the two came inextricably together. As on a seesaw, black could be up only if white were down. This, Malcolm said, was a truth handed down by history, forever inescapable: blacks simply would not feel like men until they could defy whites. Black pride meant black resistance, rebellion, unrestrained and unembarrassed anger. To be polite or acquiescent was to degrade oneself before "the enemy." To compromise was to "sell out"; to "turn the other cheek" was humiliation.

_____________ Copyright 2007 Apex Learning Inc. All rights reserved. This material is intended for the exclusive use of registered users only. No portion of these materials may be reproduced or redistributed in any form without the express written permission of Apex Learning Inc.

AP English Language and Composition Assignment Preparing to Write About Biography and Autobiography Readings Source F

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King, Martin Luther Jr. Dr. Martin Luther King on Malcolm X, Philadelphia Tribune, January 12, 2001. The following excerpt is from a newspaper article in which Martin Luther King Jr. reminisces about the legacy of Malcolm X. I met Malcolm X once in Washington, but circumstances didn't enable me to talk with him for more than a minute. He is very articulate, but I totally disagree with many of his political and philosophical views at least insofar as I understand where he now stands. I don't want to sound selfrighteous, or absolutist, or that I think I have the only truth, the only way. Maybe he does have some of the answers. I know that I have often wished that he would talk less of violence, because violence is not going to solve our problem. And, in this litany of articulating the despair of the Negro without offering any positive, creative alternative, I feel that Malcolm has done himself and our people a great disservice. Fiery, demagogic oratory in the black ghettos, urging Negroes to arm themselves and prepare to engage in violence, as he has done, can reap nothing but grief. In the event of a violent revolution, we would be sorely outnumbered. And when it was all over, the Negro would face the same unchanged conditions, the same squalor and deprivation the only difference being that his bitterness would be even more intense, his disenchantment even more abject. Thus, in purely practical as well as moral terms, the American Negro has no rational alternative to nonviolence. When they threw eggs at me in New York, I think that was really a result of the Black Nationalist groups. They had heard all of these things about my being soft, my talking about love, and they transferred that bitterness toward the white man to me. They began to feel that I was saying to love this person that they had such a better attitude toward. In fact, Malcolm X had a meeting the day before, and he talked about me a great deal and told them that I would be there the next night and said, "You ought to go over there and let old King know what you think about him." And he had said a great deal about nonviolence, criticizing nonviolence, and saying that I approved of Negro men and women being bitten by dogs and the firehoses. So I think this kind of response grew out of all of the talk about my being a sort of polished Uncle Tom. My feeling has always been that they have never understood what I was saying. They did not see that there's a great deal of difference between nonresistance to evil and nonviolent resistance. Certainly I'm not saying that you sit down and patiently accept injustice. I'm talking about a very strong force, where you stand up with all your might against an evil system, and you're not a coward. You are resisting, but you come to see that tactically as well as morally it is better to be nonviolent. Even if one didn't want to deal with the moral question, it would just be impractical for the Negro to talk about making his struggle violent.

_____________ Copyright 2007 Apex Learning Inc. All rights reserved. This material is intended for the exclusive use of registered users only. No portion of these materials may be reproduced or redistributed in any form without the express written permission of Apex Learning Inc.