Talk: Malcolm X led by Cynthia King

Event details

  • March 19, 2019
  • 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
  • Hughes Library, 25 Heritage Green Pl. Greenville, 29601
  • 864-244-1499

 View Map  Cost: Free

Talk: Malcolm X

Cynthia King, PhD is the chair of the Department of Communication Studies at Furman University. She received her BA and MA in Communication at Auburn University and earned her PhD from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Dr. King teaches in the areas of strategic public discourse, public speaking, U.S. Public Address, African American rhetoric, and media studies. Her current research explores the rhetoric of African American political thought.




The Malcolm X Talk is a part of Upstate International Month promoting our rich cultural diversity, heritage, and global connections through a variety of internationally themed events. Upstate International Month is produced by Upstate International in collaboration with their community partners.

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Malcolm X blasted the American black liberation movement into global context by actively connecting it to African, Asian, and Latin American revolutionary mobilizations. He brought the movement into a worldview― the struggle for human rights. His ingenuity forged global awareness of the Civil Rights Struggle and catapulted the debate onto the world stage.

During the last year of his life, Malcolm X spent five months in Africa and the Middle East, and almost another month in Europe. In Africa, he built powerful relationships with anti-colonial resistance leaders and the presidents of new nations emerging from colonialism. In the Middle East, presidents and kings recognized Malcolm as the emerging leader of Islam in the United States, and gave him lavish support. In Europe, Malcolm X built relationships with the younger generations of African, Asian, and Middle Eastern leaders who were preparing for their future leadership roles through their studies at Oxford and other elite universities.

“The only way we’ll get freedom for ourselves is to identify ourselves with every oppressed people in the world. We are blood brothers to the people of Brazil, Venezuela, Haiti, Cuba — yes Cuba too.” ― Malcolm X

“One day, may we all meet together in the light of understanding.” ― Malcolm X

Deemed controversial, accused of being an advocate of violence, but never was he ever associated with violence or public disturbance what so ever. “Brother minister Malcolm the Revolutionary” boldly stressed – cultural pride, self sufficiency and self defense against violence being committed on fellow human beings who just happen to be Black!

He inspired generations, past and present to resist racism “By any means necessary.” A true revolutionary who devoted his life to drastically change unjust conditions, during what many refer to as America’s Third Revolution – The Negro or rather Black Revolution that intended to change America.

Malcolm spoke of the frustrations of many who no longer believed in turning the other cheek. Instead he drastically changed minds.

His life was a battle of ideas in which he responded to institutional racism and segregation with tactics that evolved beyond the struggle for civil rights. Instead Malcolm demanded that America restore the human rights of Afro Americans. He drastically changed his life from a criminal with an 8th grade education to becoming one the most powerful intellectuals in American history. Malcolm X is indeed a true Revolutionary.

1925 – (May 19) born Malcolm Little in Omaha NB
1929 – family’s Lansing, MI home is burned to the ground
1931 – Malcolm’s father is found dead on the town’s trolley tracks (age 6)
1940 –drops out of school and moves to Boston (age 15)
1941-46 – small-time hustler in Harlem
1946 – sentenced to 8-10 years for armed robbery and serves 6 ½ years at Charlestown, MA state prison
1947-52 – introduced to Islam and converts. Translates entire dictionary
1952 – released from prison, changes name to Malcolm X, and joins nation of Island and becomes Assistant Minister of their Detroit Temple
1954 – promoted to Minister of Nation of Islam’s New York Temple
1957 – founds influential Black Muslim publication “Muhammad Speaks”
1958 – marries Betty Dean Sanders
1959 – PBS documentary “The Hate that Hate Produced” – Malcolm X’s first TV appearance
1963 – (Dec 4) Nation of Islam suspends Malcolm because of remarks responding to President Kennedy’s assassination.
1964 – (Mar) breaks with Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam and founds the Muslin Mosque, Inc.
1964 – (Apr 22) makes pilgrimage to Mecca and receives name El-Hajj Malik al-Shabazz
1964 – (Jun 28) Forms the Organization of Afro-American Unity
1964 – (Aug 13) US State and Justice departments take notice of his influence on African leaders at the UN
1965 – (Feb 14) his home is firebombed
1965 – (Feb 21) assassinated will speaking at the Avalon Ballroom in New York City

You’re living at a time of extremism, a time of revolution – a time where there’s got to be a change. People in power have misused it. And now there has to be a change and a better world has to be built. And the only way it is going to be built is with extreme methods. And I for one will join with anyone, don’t care what color you are, as long as you want to change this miserable condition that exists on this earth.

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 you’re going east, and you will be walking east when you think you’re going west.

We need more light about each other. Light creates understanding, understanding creates love, love creates patience, and patience creates unity.

We are nonviolent with people who are nonviolent with us.

A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything.

Don’t be in a hurry to condemn because he doesn’t do what you do or think as you think or as fast. There was a time when you didn’t know what you know today.

There is no better teacher than adversity. In every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance next time

Concerning nonviolence, it is criminal to teach a man not to defend himself when he is the constant victim of brutal attacks.

I for one believe that if you give people a thorough understanding of what confronts them and the basic causes that produce it, they’ll create their own program, and when the people create a program, you get action.

I believe that there will ultimately be a clash between the oppressed and those that do the oppressing. I believe that there will be a clash between those who want freedom, justice and equality for everyone and those who want to continue the systems of exploitation.

I am neither a fanatic nor a dreamer. I am a Black man who loves peace, and justice, and loves his people.”

If you stick a knife in my back nine inches and pull it out six inches, there’s no progress. If you pull it all the way out that’s not progress. Progress is healing the wound that the blow made. And they haven’t pulled the knife out, much less healed the wound. They even admit the knife is there.

I am not a racist. I am against every form of racism and segregation – Every form of discrimination.

I believe in human beings, and that all human beings should be respected as such, regardless of their color

I for one believe that if you give people a thorough understanding of what confronts them and the basic causes that produce it, they’ll create their own program, and when the people create a program, you get action.

Concerning nonviolence, it is criminal to teach a man not to defend himself when he is the constant victim of brutal attacks.

There is no better teacher than adversity. In every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance next time.

We are not Americans, we’re Afrikans who happen to be in America. We were kidnapped and brought here against our will from Afrika. We didn’t land on Plymouth Rock – that rock landed on us.

The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley (1964)
As told to him by Malcolm X, Alex Haley explores how Malcolm rose from street hustler and criminal to become one of the most profound Revolutionaries in American history.
The Ballot or the Bullet, speech by Malcolm X (April 3, 1964)
One of the most powerful speeches in American history, Malcolm X speaks about Black Nationalism during the 1964 election year, when blacks did not have much say in who they wanted to elect. Malcolm wanted them to vote for whomever best benefited blacks.

Malcolm X Speaks, selected speeches edited by George Breitman (1965)

The major speeches made by Malcolm X during the last tumultuous eight months of his life. “The Ballot or the Bullet Speech” by Malcolm X April 3, 1964 is included and is a must read.

The Victims of Democracy: Malcolm X and the Black Revolution by Eugene Victor Wolfenstein (1981)
A unique psychological biographical study that integrates a wide and subtle view of the history of white racism and the black liberation movement with a deep and sensitive understanding of the inner world of Malcolm X.

The Diary of Malcolm X 1964 by Herb Boyd and Malcolm X’s daughter Ilyasah Shabazz  (2013)
A personal collection of Malcolm X’s thoughts and observations of the people he meets experiencing the hajj in the Islamic holy city of Mecca.

Growing up X by Ilyasah Shabazz (2002)
The 3rd of Malcolm’s 6 daughters who was present when their father was murdered, at age 3. She doesn’t remember, but she does express the physiological effects his murder had on her family and the perceptions she was forced to deal with growing up the daughter of one of the most powerful and controversial men in American history.

Marked Man: The Assassination of Malcolm X by Matt Doeden (2013)
Few were shocked by news of Malcolm X’s death. Since 1952 the former member of the NOI had supported the philosophy of self-defense as the method to achieve justice for blacks. But in March 1964, after a major shift in his philosophy, Malcolm changed his message. He no longer agreed with and feuded with NOI leaders. He knew that someone would try to kill him. Nearly one year later, that time finally came. The 39-year-old was shot in public at point-blank range.

Fighting for Our Place in the Sun by Richard D. Benson II (2015)
An examination of the life of Malcolm X as not only a radical political figure, but also as a teacher and mentor. The book illuminates the tenets of Malcolm educational philosophy, and also traces a historical trajectory of Black activists that sought to create spaces of liberation and learning that are free from cultural and racial oppression. It explains a side of the Black student movement and shift in black power that develops as a result of the student protests in North Carolina and Duke University.