WSB-TV newsfilm clip of Malcolm X condemning the federal government for not protecting African commenting on violence in Birmingham, Alabama, 1963 May 16
@ Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection
WSB-TV (Television station : Atlanta, Ga.)
DescriptionIn this WSB newsfilm clip from May 16, 1963, Malcolm X warns against expecting civil rights leaders to prevent violence and condemns President John F. Kennedy for not protecting African Americans in Birmingham, Alabama. Malcolm X responds to warnings made by New York congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. about potential race riots in Washington D.C. He commends Powell for "being bold enough to repeat what the honorable Elijah Muhammad [head of the Nation of Islam] has been saying for thirty-three years," but explains that the possibility of race riots existed before it was recognized by Powell. Malcolm X criticizes those who expect civil rights leaders to prevent race riots. He attacks President John F. Kennedy for sending federal troops into Birmingham after rioting on May 11 and 12, but failing to consider it a necessary option when it was time to protect African Americans, including children, who were bitten by police dogs and sprayed with fire hoses. X intimates that only after African Americans demonstrated "that they were just as capable of defending themselves in Birmingham as they have been capable in the past of defending America on the battlefields of Korea and Germany and those other places" did Kennedy send troops; opining that the troops were not sent to Birmingham to protect African Americans. Civil rights demonstrations led by the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights (ACMHR) and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) began in April, 1963 and continued until an accord was reached between black and white...