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The speech was given at the King Solomon Baptist Church in Detroit Michigan. The church was founded on May 16th, 1926 by Reverend Moses Williams. Located in Detroit’s Black Bottom district which is a historically black neighborhood.


  • King Solomon Baptist Church (1963)
  • Location of KSBC

There many influential people that fought for the rights of African American. There were two opinions when came to civil rights. There was the option of using force like the Black Panther or there was the option of peace like Martian Luther King Jr. Malcolm Little toke the approach of an eye for eye. “Concerning non-violence: it is criminal to teach a man not to defend himself when he is the constant victim of brutal attacks.”
Malcom Little better known as Malcolm X is minister human rights activist and prominent black nationalist leader.  He also was a spokesman and follower of the Nation of Islam. He was known the large number of new followers that he brought the faith. Malcolm X speaking and influence brought over 40,000 new followers.  In 1946, Malcolm was arrested for larceny and sentenced to 10 years in prison.  While in prison Malcolm X began to write and read many books. This helped Malcolm educate himself after dropping out of high school.  He also joined the Nation of Islam while incarcerated. Malcolm says he joined the Nation of Islam for the strong influence of black nationalism and the fight for equality.  After being released, Malcolm continued to practice the Islamic faith and fight for civil rights and equality.
The Message to the Grass roots was a message given to the Northern Negro Grass Roots Leadership Conference on November 10, 1963.  In this message Malcolm X talks about the “negro revolution.” The negro revolution was calling attention to civil rights movement in Detroit and New York. Malcolm tells the conference that he has had enough of the bloodshed.  He continued to tell them that turning the other cheek to the violence was causing more bloodshed and that it was time for the to stand up for themselves.  The main point of Malcolm X’s speech was to explain what went wrong during the March on Washington. He says that the tone of the march was “militant and one of defiance.”  He continued to say that the march could have been impactful if were not so peaceful. This speech would be one of Malcolm X’s last as a member of the Nation of Islam.
The speech was given at the King Solomon Baptist Church in Detroit Michigan. The church was founded on May 16th, 1926 by Reverend Moses Williams.  Located in Detroit’s Black Bottom district which is a historically black neighborhood. The church didn’t find a permeant home until 1929 when they settled down Alexandrine and Riopelle Streets.  Quickly the King Solomon became a very popular church amongst the black community and the number of members grew from 11 to 3,300 by 1951.  With the growing population the church needed to find a bigger church and sell the old one. They found a church called the Temple. At the time, the Temple was an all-white church and King Solomon was an all-black church.  The Temple found a larger outdoor venue allowing King Solomon to move in. This would help the church to grow and hold events such as youth outreach events, indoor roller skating, and even the training facility of Thomas "The Hitman" Hearns.  The church also became known for gospel music.
In 1968, the Gospel Music Workshop of America was founded at King Solomon.  The workshop first meeting drew a crowd of 3,000. The new church’s 5,000-seat auditorium played a major role in the civil rights movement.  In 1954 Thurgood Marshall gave a speech at King Solomon following the court case Brown v. Board of Education.  Even Martin Luther King Jr made two appearances at King Solomon. King Solomon was the place of two of Malcolm X’s speech, Message to the Grass roots and The Ballot or The Bullet.  The church is still around today and still serving the community it was made for. The King Solomon Baptist is an important part of the civil rights movement and black history.

[1] "Malcolm X Speaks: Selected Speeches and Statements". Book by George Breitman (p. 22), 1965.

[2] "Malcolm X." Biography.com. April 15, 2019. Accessed April 19, 2019. https://www.biography.com/activist/malcolm-x.

[3] Ibid

[4] Ibid

[5] Ibid

[6] Ibid

[7] "Malcolm X Speaks: Selected Speeches and Statements". Book by George Breitman (p. 22), 1965.

[8] "Malcolm X." Biography.com. April 15, 2019. Accessed April 19, 2019. https://www.biography.com/activist/malcolm-x.

[9] Ibid

[10] Ibid

[11] Ibid

[12] Ibid

[13] Ibid

[14] Ibid

[15] Ibid

[16] Ibid

[17] Ibid

[18] Ibid