The Ballot or the Bullet

The Ballot or the Bullet Study Guide

"The Ballot or the Bullet" is a groundbreaking speech given by civil rights pioneer Malcolm X on April 3 and 12, 1964. The speech was delivered twice—first at the Cory Methodist Church in Cleveland, Ohio, and second at the King Solomon Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan—in response to foot-dragging in Congress over the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

It is considered to be among the most famous orations in American history. In a study compiled by researchers at UW–Madison and Texas A&M University, "The Ballot or the Bullet" was ranked seventh in the top 100 American speeches of the 20th century by 137 leading scholars of American public address.