Malcolm X: Why Black People Don't Read Black Newspapers

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By Malcolm X

Excerpted from presentation by Malcolm X in Los Angeles, California, April 4, 1961

I would like to say right here is that one of the mistakes the Negro press makes and has been making has been sitting in your office waiting for the White man to write something about Black people  in his paper and then he'll pick up his paper and rewrite it in your paper.

The crime that you commit is, as a Negro reporter, when you re-write what the White man has said about your own kind is that you don't have the intelligence enough to separate the truth from the falsehood.

Then you wonder why the so-called Negro refuse to buy the so-called Negro papers. They are tired of seeing you parrot what the White man says about all of the ills and the immoralities that exists in  our community and in our neighborhood.  But here in Los Angeles thanks to Allah, you have a good Black newspaper known as The Los Angeles Herald Dispatch.

In fact it's so Black that some of you can't even take it. But we thank Allah for The Los Angeles Herald Dispatch because of its uncompromising stand on the side of truth and in the struggle against those who have inflicted oppression against our people here for a long time.

And I think that no one is more aware of the good work that the The The Los Angeles Herald-Dispatch is doing then the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.  The The Los Angeles Herald-Dispatch has become one of the most respected and feared Black newspapers in North America. In fact I should say it's one of the only Black newspapers in North America because most of the others have allowed themselves to fall under the control of the White man.

I know that there may be come representatives here from the local Negro press and I'm not biting my tongue in what I say because anyone can pick up your paper and tell by its content that you're not writing to please Black people you're writing to please White people.

Black people are tired of that. The Black bourgeoisie who has for a long time  been able to read and write,  they don't buy your paper anyway,  they don't want to be seen with it because they have become too White-minded. So you waste your time trying to write to please them than the Black masses whom you should be trying to please and who would be buying your paper they are fed up with you misrepresenting them not only to the local public but to the public all over the world today. I hope that's understood. 

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