Malcolm X delivered the speech “The Ballot or the Bullet” at the Cory Methodist Church in Cleveland, Ohio on 3rd of April, 1963 in front of an estimated crowd of 3,000 people.
The audience was formed by both African Americans and white Americans, both of which the speaker targets in his speech. From the beginning of the speech, it is obvious that Malcolm X wants to involve all African Americans regardless of their religious orientation. This is suggested by all-inclusive phrases like: “…whether you're a Baptist, or a Methodist, or a Muslim, or a nationalist. Whether you're educated or illiterate, whether you live on the boulevard or in the alley…”
As the speaker continues his address, he hints at an audience formed of civil rights activists that advocate fighting for equal rights through peaceful means, which he criticizes: “And these Negro leaders have the audacity to go and have some coffee in the White House with a Texan, a Southern cracker…”
Malcolm X also targets the Muslim community of which he is part of, which suggests he wants to maintain his reputation there and is willing to use his influence as a Muslim minister for political means: “It's true we're Muslims and our religion is Islam, but we don't mix our religion with our politics and our economics and our social and civil activities…”
Furthermore, the speaker identifies with black nationalis...