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Malcolm X Speaks in Oakland

Nov. 25, 1962 - The diversity of viewpoints of American Negro leadership was demonstrated in Oakland, Calif., last night at a meeting that heard spokesmen for the Black Muslims, the Afro-American Association, and the Committee on Racial Equality. The meeting, which drew 400, was organized by Don Warden, a Negro lawyer in Oakland, as the climax of a series of workshops called “The Mind of the Ghetto.” About one out of five persons in the Oakland-San Francisco-Berkeley area is a Negro. The Black Muslims sent Malcolm X (pictured), minister of Mosque No. 7 in New York, to address the meeting. Mr. X expressed the view that “the best thing the black man can do is separate from America and try to do the things he needs to have done for himself.” He criticized the Freedom Rides, a project aimed at integrating transportation facilities, as wasteful and useless. “If the money wasted on Freedom Rides had been spent to build up Negro business, some of our problems would be solved,” he said. “What good does it do us to make white lawyers rich? Our problems will never be solved by the white man. We must solve it for ourselves. We will make mistakes. The white man made mistakes when he became free from England. Death is the price of liberty. If you’re not ready to die for it, put the world ‘freedom’ out of your vocabulary.” There appeared to be a considerable number of Black Muslim supporters in the audience, judging from the shouts of approval that punctuated these statements by Malcolm X.


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