According to Malcolm X, why do Black people need the right to bear arms?

 Please watch the videos (Click on the video) and the linked articles. After viewing the videos and reviewing the articles answer the questions below. Your initial response should be at least 300 words.


Malcolm X, an activist for the rights of Black people, was born in 1925 in Nebraska. When he was young, his home was burned by Klan members. He was convicted of stealing and went to prison at 20; there, he converted to Islam. He joined the Nation of Islam, an organization for Black Muslims that advocated for preservation of Black culture and rights through separation from White society; however, toward the end of his life, a trip to Mecca convinced him that people of all races could collaborate. Malcolm chose the surname “X” because he believed his father’s surname came from his ancestors’ slave masters. In 1964, he left the Nation of Islam and founded the Organization for Afro-American Unity; our document comes from a speech he gave announcing its creation. In 1965, Malcolm X was assassinated.

Vocabulary: Salaam Alaikum: “Peace be with you” in Arabic, a Muslim greeting

charter: plan or mission

henceforth: in the future

submerge: to ignore

nonsectarian: not divided by religion


1. Infer why Malcolm X wouldn’t just ask the police and government to protect Black people’s rights.

2. According to Malcolm X, why do Black people need the right to bear arms?

3. Malcolm X is seen as a divisive figure. Was he? Why or why not? Explain in detail.

4. Is there any cause you would fight for “by any means necessary”? If so, what is it? If not, why not?


By Any Means Necessary, Malcolm X, 1964 (Malcolm X speech)    (Trancripts of the speech) (Background on Malcolm X)

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