Malcolm X was born on May 19, 1925, in Omaha, Neb. To celebrate the anniversary of his birth, we recall “The Ballot of the Bullet” speech he gave on April 3, 1964, at the Cory Methodist Church in Cleveland.

The speech, which was named the seventh-best speech of the 20th century by scholars, stressed the importance of voting to achieve equality for African-Americans, but he warned that violence would be necessary if politicians failed to bring about justice.

The human rights activist was assassinated by Nation of Islam members in New York City on Feb. 21, 1965, less than a year after delivering this speech.

Read the full speech here. Listen to it below.

—Posted by Eric Ortiz

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