Historical Importance of Malcolm’s Claim

Malcolm X gained notoriety in the early 1960s for his extreme viewpoints and his ardent devotion to Islam. He used rhetoric effectively in his statements, which was a major factor in his influence. Additionally, theories about racism against African Americans greatly increased his notoriety. He used a variety of rhetorical devices to make sure that his message was understood as he intended during his talks.

Since Black Americans were experiencing racism and fascism at the time, the movie "The Battle of the Algiers" had a big impact on them. The Algerian counterparts had set an example which in turn demonstrated that liberation was possible among the Black people of the United States. The Algerians had fought a successful war which was characterized by high levels of brutality, but ultimately they were able to gain independence from their French colonial masters. The liberation was a great move as it triggered and inspired the Black revolutionists to up their war against race related vices committed against them especially by their white counterparts (Covington, n.d). The Algerian film was an encouragement to the Black people that a possible liberation was on the way. The video would impact heavily on the African American cinema as many Blacks wanted to see how the Algerians had achieved their independence amidst all the torture and bloodshed they sustained from the French. The film was similar to the film on the “Spook who sat by the doorstep.” The video reflected a revolutionary culture that could be incorporated by the Black revolutionists to promote their liberation struggles against the white supremacists. The film depicted some solidarity between the third world Muslim countries and the Black Americans. The struggles that conspired in Algeria leading the nation to the ultimate desire of independence were similar to the then current situation of the Black revolutionary movements. The Black people were inspired by the film to launch liberation movements like the Black Panther Party conference which was founded in 1969 and whose slogan stated, “United against Fascism.” The conference was a reflection of the National Liberation Front (FLN) which the Algerians had founded to unite them in their war against the French colonialists compelling them to show a white flag. On the other side, the African American conference was intended to surge their fight against the White imperialists and their racist violence committed against the Black fraternity as depicted in the film Dualatzi, “To the East” (Dualatzi, 2012). The film could be used by the Black revolutionaries to sensitize the society on the possible ways of bringing an end to their prolonged suffering under the White supremacy. The situation reflected the truth of what Harold Cruse had stated that “What is true of the colonial world is also true of the Negro in the United States.” The statement meant that the African American situation of racial discrimination and state violence corresponded to suffering applied to the colonial subjects. The same events triggered Carmichael to confirm that, “Black Power means that we see ourselves as part of the Third World; that we see our struggle as closely related to liberation struggle around the world.”

The African Americans and their movement revolutionists identified themselves as colonies as stated by Carmichael that, “Our people are a colony in the United States; you are colonies outside the United States. It is more than a figure of speech to say that the Black communities in America are victims of white imperialism and colonial exploitation.” The statement meant that the level of suffering that the African Americans were subjected to through racism and state violence conferred to what the colonial subjects were exposed to by their rulers (Covington, n.d). The same was what Cleaver affirmed in her statement, “From its inception, the Black Panther Party saw the condition of Blacks in an international context, recognizing that the same racist imperialism that people in Africa, Asia, Latin America were fighting against was victimizing Blacks in the United States.” In essence, this implied that the racism that the African Americans were experiencing in their land under the White imperialists was directly corresponding to the racial discrimination witnessed in the colonies of Africa and Asia. The struggles of the Black Americans are similar to the Muslim Third World since in both cases, movements had to be formed to sensitize and unite the people towards a common goal of liberation. For example, in America, the Black Panther Party was founded while the National Liberation Front (FLN) was established in Algeria. The suffering of the African Americans and the Muslim Third World countries was caused by the white imperialists. The revolutionists in the Muslim developing countries used the Islamic religion as a unifying force to fight their enemies as Malcolm put it that, “Islam is the greatest unifying force in the Dark World today,” as opposed to their counterparts in America who were united on the racial basis. The Muslim nations in the third world had strongly relied on their religion to force their way towards independence and liberalization (Cabral, 2010). The Muslim developing countries, especially Algeria, applied techniques which majorly comprised of war and bloodshed which were not common among the African American revolutionary societies. The white supremacy was characterized by the subjection of violence related to racial discrimination while their counterparts in the Muslim third World colonies applied torture and murder to their subjects.

There are some differences that exist in the US racial oppression and the Third World. A major difference is depicted by the structure of the US government which is more complex when compared to the developing countries. The American constitution has remained compact over a long period as opposed to the developing world where the constitutions are subjected to regular amendments which make them weak at some point in time. America has undergone several revolutionary processes including civil wars, McCarthy regime, and the wars on the Vietnam grounds which necessitated the country to develop ways of absorbing such crisis based on previous experiences (Covington, n.d). The revolutionary activists in the Third World applied warfare tactics to eliminate their enemies a factor that was not common the US side. A revolution may not be possible in America as opposed to the Algerian side bearing in mind that, a good number of the citizens work for eight hours for five days in a week. The implication of this is that most people will lack adequate time to associate and stage revolutionary attacks on the government. Another challenge is that the Black people are situated in particular areas in the major cities which like in the case of Algeria were used to plan and wage wars on the colonialists. Thus, with the Blacks residing in specific areas, in case of a revolution, they can be easily traced barred from accessing foreign aid, their guerilla groups destroyed, urban areas could be heavily guarded, massive resettlements to protect the community from rebels, and the revolutionists could be caught and educated.


The claim by Malcolm X depicted the truth of the situation that had occurred in Algeria and which was similar to the suffering that the Black Americans were experiencing under the White supremacists. The statement made by Malcolm implied that the conditions under which the Algerian had been subjected to by the French Imperialists were worse compared to what the African American people were facing. Thus, since the Algerians had managed to fight their way to liberation, this was also possible for the Black Americans. The revolutionary movements were formed to enable them to move to liberation. However, the issues of revolution and racial discrimination remain to be a challenge to the citizens of the United States.


Cabral, A., (Sept. 16, 2010). “Connecting the struggles: An informal chat with black Americans.” Pambazuka News: Voice for Freedom and Justice. Retrieved from http://www.pambazuka.org/governance/connecting-struggles-informal-chat-black-americans.

Covington, F. (n.d). The Black Woman: Techniques in the Battle of Algiers. Pdf: Pg 244-251.

Deutsch, M., Coleman, P.T., and Marcus, E.C. (2006). “Handbook of Conflict Revolution: Theory and Practice.” San Francisco, California: Jossey-Bass.

Dualatzi, S., (2012). Black Star, Crescent Moon: TO THE EAST, BLACKWARDS: Black Power, Radical Cinema, and the Muslim third World. University of Minnesota Press USA.

Rodriguez, A., (2016). Amilcar Cabral and the African Revolution-Part One. In Defense of Marxism. Retrieved from hhttps://www.marxist.com/2016-05-25-14-39-14.html

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