Malcolm X A Speech to Mississippi Youth


One of the first things I think young people, especially nowadays, should learn is how to see for yourself and listen for yourself and think for yourself. Then you can come to an intelligent decision for yourself. If you form the habit of going by what you hear others say about someone, or going by what others think about someone, instead of searching that thing out for yourself and seeing for yourself, you will be walking west when you think youíre going east, and you will be walking east when you think youíre going west. This generation, especially of our people, has a burden, more so than any other time in history. The most important thing that we can learn to do today is think for ourselves.Ö


I myself would go for nonviolence if it was consistent, if everybody was going to be nonviolent all the time. Iíd say, okay, letís get with it, weíll all be nonviolent. But I donít go along with any kind of nonviolence unless everybodyís going to be nonviolent. If they make the Ku Klux Klan nonviolent, Iíll be nonviolent. If they make the White Citizens Council nonviolent, Iíll be nonviolent. But as long as youíve got somebody else not being nonviolent, I donít want anybody coming to me talking any nonviolent talk. I donít think it is fair to tell our people to be nonviolent unless someone is out there making the Klan and the Citizens Council and these other groups also be nonviolent.Ö


If the leaders of the nonviolent movement can go into the white community and teach nonviolence, good. Iíd go along with that. But as long as I see them teaching nonviolence only in the black community, we canít go along with that. We believe in equality, and equality means that you have to put the same thing over here that you put over there. And if black people alone are going to be the ones who are nonviolent, then itís not fair. We throw ourselves off guard. In fact, we disarm ourselves and make ourselves defenseless.Ö