Revolutionary Black Liberation Leader in the U.S.
When you jump out around some Black Americans and speak as if everything is on your side, why, they think you’re crazy. But they think you’re crazy because they can’t see what you see. All they see is Charlie, all they see is the white man. And because he is all they see, to them he looks like a giant. But you’re looking beyond the white man. You see the nations of the earth that are black, brown, red, and yellow, who used to be down, now getting up. And when you see them, you find that you look more like them than you look like Sam. And then you find yourself relating to them, whereas you formerly tried to relate to Sam. When you relate to them, you’re related to the majority. But when you relate to Uncle Sam, you automatically become a minority relative. You understand? He examines us all the time. He has the Black community throughout this land always under a microscope just like in a scientists laboratory, to find out how you’re thinking, to keep up to date on how you think, on the beat of your pulse—are you beating too hot, or is your temperature running too hot, or is it cool. He wants to know how you think and how you feel. If you seem to be working up a temperature that he’s not responsible for, it worries him. As long as your temperature rises when he puts the pressure, that’s okay. But if he sees you making some reactions that are motivated other than by something that he has done, then he begins to worry. He finds that something else is influencing you and controlling you beyond his control and influence. And he should worry when you begin to get like that.
Excerpt from Speech: “On Afro-American History" (1965)
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