Malcolm X And Martin Luther King Essay

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During the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s in the United States, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X had different methods and philosophies for trying to accomplish the very similar goal of civil rights for African Americans. Although Martin Luther King, Jr. had a philosophy of non-violence and racial integration and Malcolm X believed violence might be necessary and believed in racial separation, the two leaders had a lot in common: “Martin and Malcolm have become the two most recognizable African American icons of the twentieth century”(Carson 22). Both men had similar backgrounds. Their fathers were Baptist ministers and both became religious leaders. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Southern Baptist minister inspired by the Hindu…show more content…

Martin Luther King, Jr. worked to achieve legal equality for African Americans, including the right to vote and equal treatment. This was his main goal. One way that he hoped to achieve job equality was through racial integration between African Americans and white Americans. He was a pastor in the Southern Baptist tradition at Dexter Avenue Baptists Church in Montgomery, Alabama, and was inspired toward a non-violent approach to social change by Jesus Christ and Mohandas K. Ghandi (About Dr. King). However, King was not always against violence and was not always pro-integration. According to James Cone in his essay "Martin And Malcolm On Nonviolence And Violence," King experienced white prejudice early in life living in Atlanta, Georgia and had a negative attitude toward white people. “He was determined to hate all whites,” and he slowly grew to change “through the influence of religion, education, and personal encounters with moderate whites” in college and seminary (Cone 174). King came to believe that all Americans should be integrated into one society that works together peacefully.
Although he was known for his non-violent approach to social protest, Martin Luther King, Jr. was not always committed to nonviolence. Though he was raised in a Christian

Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. Essay

1481 Words6 Pages

Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr.

African Americans are fortunate to have leaders who fought for a difference in Black America. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X are two powerful men in particular who brought hope to blacks in the United States. Both preached the same message about Blacks having power and strength in the midst of all the hatred that surrounded them. Even though they shared the same dream of equality for their people, the tactics they implied to make these dreams a reality were very different. The background, environment and philosophy of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X were largely responsible for the distinctly varying responses to American racism.

The early backgrounds of Malcolm X and…show more content…

Death came for King on the evening of April 4, 1968, while standing on the balcony of his motel room in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was to lead a protest march in sympathy with striking garbage workers of that city, he was assassinated (Kete 99). After, death threats and his home being firebombed, X was shot and killed at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem on
February 21, 1965, while preparing to speak. Malcolm X’s despair about life was reflected in his angry, pessimistic belief that equality is impossible because Whites have no moral conscience. This bitterness and hatred toward Whites partially came from Malcolm’s belief that his father was killed by the Klu Klux Klan. Martin Luther King’s close family oriented background influenced his goal for a united nation. It is evident that the backgrounds of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X had great influence on how they delivered their message of equality.

Their unique styles were influenced by the different environments they both grew up in. King was raised in a comfortable middle-class family where education was stressed and dreams and love were generated. Martin was very intelligent in grade school and took his education and soared until he graduated from college with a doctorate degree. On the other hand, Malcolm X came from an underprivileged home. He was a self-taught man who received little schooling and rose to greatness on his own intelligence and determination. Malcolm always made it clear,

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