BHM: Three speeches by African-American activists you need to know

Malcolm X stands giving his famous

Malcolm X stands giving his famous “Ballot or the Bullet” speech. Photo courtesy of WikiMedia Commons.

Katelyn Bale

Each February, many people reflect on the life and legacy of Civil Rights activists. Here are three famous speeches that you should know and rewatch during the month.

Martin Luther King Jr. – I Have A Dream


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a civil rights activist. He delivered the famous “I Have A Dream” speech on August 28, 1963, during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. In his speech, he called for an end to racial inequality and discrimination.

Sojourner Truth – Ain’t I a Woman?


Sojourner Truth was a slave, then after gaining her freedom in 1827, she became an Anti-slavery speaker. She delivered her speech “Ain’t I a Woman?” in 1851 at the Women’s Convention in Arkon, Ohio. In her speech, she compares white women to African-American women.

Malcolm X – The Ballot or The Bullet

Malcolm X was a human rights activist who believed African-Americans were equal to whites but should live separately from them. He gave his famous “The Ballot or The Bullet” speech on April 3, 1964, at Cory Methodist Church in Cleveland, Ohio. In the almost hour-long speech, Malcolm X calls out the U.S. government saying if they continue to block African-American from gaining equal rights, they will pick up arms.