Malcolm X at Queens College (May 5, 1960)


We thank you for inviting us here today to present our views on this topic: “The Negro’s Position in the Recent American Society.” But, to understand our views you must first know something about our religion, Islam.

The Creator of the Universe, whom many of you call God or Jehovah, is known to the Muslims by the name Allah. Since the Muslims believe all prophets came from that one God and therefore all taught one and the same religion, rightly called Islam, which means the complete submission and obedience to Allah.

One who practices this Divine Obedience is called a Muslim, commonly known, spelled, and referred to here in the West as Moslem. There are over 600 million Muslims on this earth, predominantly in Africa and Asia, and we here in America under the Divine Guidance of Mr. Elijah Muhammad are an integral part of the vast World of Islam that stretches from the China Seas to the sunny shores of West Africa.

A unique situation faces the black man here in America because of his unique condition, thus his acceptance of Islam and into Islam affects him uniquely...differently than all other converts to Islam.

Mr. Elijah Muhammad is our Divine Leader and Teacher here in America. He believes in and obeys God 100 per cent and is teaching and working among us to fulfill God’s Divine Purpose.

What is this purpose? God’s purpose today, just as it was in biblical days, is the complete separation of the so-called Negroes from their slave master...as the bible says concerning today: “Let every man be under his own vine and fig tree.”

The best biblical example of this is the enslavement of the Hebrews in the land of Egypt under Pharaoh...a free man and some slaves who were “strangers in a land not their own,” and how Jehovah chose Moses to separate them from their slave master.

Since the slave master today declares his “former” slaves are free, Mr. Muhammad says that for the betterment of our future and that of our former slave master God has declared we also must be separated.

To many of you here in this college auditorium, this sounds ridiculous; to some it even sounds insane. But 20 million black people here in America now number a nation in their own right. Do you believe a nation within another nation can be successful, especially when they both have equal education?

Once the slave has his master’s education, the slave wants to be like his master, wants to share his master’s property, and wants to exercise the same privileges as his master.

This is the core of America’s troubles today; and there will be no peace for America as long as 20 million so-called Negroes are here begging for the equal rights which America knows she will never grant us.

Even the limited education America has granted her ex-slaves has already produced great unrest...and Almighty God says the only way for America to ever have peace is for us to be separated from her...and therefore Mr. Muhammad teaches us that we must have some land of our own.

If we receive equal education, how long do you expect us to remain your passive servants, or second-class citizens? There is no such thing as second-class citizens. We are full citizens or we are not citizens at all!

When you teach a man the science of government he wants an equal part or position in that government or else he wants to be a master in that government himself. He demands equality with his master.

No man with equal education will serve you. The only way you can continue to rule us is with a superior knowledge, or by continuing to hold equal education from our people.

America has not given us equal education, but she has given us enough to make us want more and to make us demand equality of opportunity, which is causing great unrest.

Thus, the only solution is complete separation! You believe in the fulfillment of biblical prophecy, that a great day of separation is coming, and that the knowledge of truth will cause this separation. We are living at that time today!

You are not common people here in this college audience. You are students, scholars, professors; you have education enough to weigh current events as well as history against the truth of what Mr. Muhammad is teaching.

For over 300 years our parents served yours. During slavery our parents didn’t ask your parents for civil rights. Our parents did not have enough education to do so. They were taught by their educated white masters that they were born inferiors...born to serve the whites...“superior” whites who restricted them without citizenship even after the so-called emancipation proclamation.

Today Mr. Muhammad sees nothing but the destruction of both races if they stay together. Integration will cause disintegration of both.

A child stays within the mother until the time of birth. When the time of birth arrives, the child must be separated, or it will destroy its mother and itself. The mother can’t carry that child after its time.
The child wants to be free; it cries for a world of its own. If the mother will not give it up naturally, the doctors must forcibly take it from her...which sometimes causes her death. If she can set it free naturally and easily, so much the better...if not, it must be taken.

Twenty million so-called Negroes in America today number a nation within a nation and are crying for freedom. We must be freed. We must be born. We must be separated...or cause the destruction of both! Separation is the only solution today. Is this insane? Is this so ridiculous?

During slavery our parents would have been put to death for advocating integration with the white man...and now that God has declared this is the day of separation, the white man wants, or at least is talking about, integration with his ex-slave.

America can solve her present problems and avoid a worse crisis by setting up some separate states for us right here in America.

Remember the Hebrews in biblical Egypt. After their 400 years of bondage to Pharaoh were up, God had to fulfill his promise to them that he had made through Abraham...but their biblical slave master would not let them go.

Thus it cost the slave master his own freedom, his country, and his life for opposing God’s Plan to separate His people from their slave master and set them in a land of their own.

God would not have destroyed the slave master if he would have listened...but just as America is today, the biblical slave master, Pharaoh, was also too rich, too strong, and too proud to listen to Moses...whom they contemptuously looked upon only as an inarticulate ex-slave.

Mr. Muhammad is opposed today, both by his own people and by whites, simply because he advocates complete freedom, justice, and equality for America’s 20 million so-called Negroes.

America is a free nation. Why should America oppose Mr. Muhammad for teaching freedom for her 20 million so-called Negroes? He is not asking for an “integrated society” which would only lead to the dreaded intermarriage with America’s white sons and daughters. He is demanding complete separation where we will have complete freedom, justice, and equality in a land of our own.

And, if God is with Mr. Muhammad today to separate us and put us in a land wherein we can form our own nation equal with other civilized nations...would you want God to destroy your country like he did biblical Egypt...for opposing his divine plan?