In 1865, the American Civil War was over after 4 years of disagreement between the states. There were a lot of subjects the states in America did not agree on, amongst them a particular question was debated fiercely; should abolish the slavery or not? The discussion went on, comparing the pros and cons. Still, it seemed that they could not find a solution, and it ended up splitting the country into two parts; the Confederates and the Union. After a lot of discussion, slavery was finally abolished and the slaves were set free.
The slaves, now called African Americans, were left on their own.
After being in the white people’s hands for so long, they now had to adapt to the new world and figure out things on their own. The African Americans had held on to their old traditions for years, and now that they were free, they got the chance to do what they were used to. This was easier said than done, and the white people did not make it easy.
In the following years, the relationship between African Americans and the white people was far from peaceful. The white people did not want to have anything to do with the blacks, and several organizations and groups like the Klu Klux Klan were established.
A racial segregation policy was made, which lead to things being separated between the races. Buses were split into sections; black people were not allowed entrance into several cafes; black and white people went to separate schools, etc. After a while, people started to get tired of it and the pressure to end the racial segregation grew amongst the African Americans. Something had to be done, but who was going to be the first to speak out and do something about it? The topics that are going to be brought up and compared in this article is how the two movement leaders managed to reach their goal, both in their own different ways.
I will start by presenting the beginning of the two movements, and then go deeper into each of them, presenting the leaders and their movements. Further on I will compare them to each other, and conclude at the end. The beginning of the two movements In 1909, African Americans and the whites had established the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People. This became a big organization in the cause of Civil rights, but it was not until after World War 2 that the movement really began.
In the mid 1900s, a group of African American activists gathered together and tried to do something about the racial problem. Amongst them were Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, the two men that later became leaders of the most important movements during the fight for equal rights. Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement Martin Luther King Jr. was a young priest and doctor who later became the head leader of the Civil Rights Movement. Education was highly valued in his family. Already at the age of 15, he was very eager to participate in the fight for equal rights.
The summer before he started his college life, he spent his time on a tobacco farm, and it was from this experience he developed his hatred toward the racial segregation. After graduating in 1948, he spent his following years studying Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violence. The following year, a group of activists gathered together to start a boycott against bus segregation as a reaction provoked by the incident of Rosa Parks. She was arrested on a bus in Montgomery for violating the segregation laws, when she refused to give up her seat for the white people boarding.
Her case moved Luther King so much that he later became the leader of both the segregation case, and the Civil Rights movement. Methods As mentioned before, Martin Luther King had been studying the philosophy of Gandhi and was inspired by his way of making changes. For him the whole fight was about improving the situation of Blacks in America, using non-violent methods. Throughout his time of leading the Civil Rights Movement, Luther King used speeches and demonstrations, similar to today’s civil disobedience, as his aids, along with marches and other methods, including The Montgomery bus boycott.
Under the whole boycott, African Americans living in Montgomery arranged some people to work as taxi drivers when people refused to take the bus for more than a year. Throughout the rest of Martin Luther’s life, until his death in 1968, he fought and succeeded in getting equal rights in the segregation of education, public facilities, work and freedom. His powerful speeches touched many people and through his work, he managed to prove that the philosophy and methods that Gandhi once had, do work. It seemed that people liked this way of fighting for their rights. But still, there were some who preferred to act out in more violent ways.
Malcolm X and the Black Pride Movement Malcolm X was another movement leader that fought for equal rights in the mid 1900s. He first worked for and with the civil rights movement leaders, but later became independent because of his own points of view. He believed that to make any changes in the society, they had to start working for it using every method necessary in more violent way. Malcolm never encouraged using any type of violence that could harm anybody during the demonstrations, but meant that people could use self-defence whenever needed. Malcolm’s main focus was to achieve human rights for all races.
The movement he established was called the Black Pride movement, and the word “Black pride is a slogan used to raise awareness of black racial identity, and to express solidarity”. Malcolm came from an underprivileged home, and at a young age, Malcolm X and his siblings were split form their parents and were put into foster homes. After dropping out of eight-grade, he became involved in criminal activities and became (the) a gang leader. Throughout his time as the leader of the gang, he went to prison for robbery. While he was in prison he converted to Islam and joined the Nation of Islam .
It was from this time that he really started to care about human rights and got involved with the civil rights movement. Under the civil rights acts of 1955, Malcolm appeared as a great public speaker and was eager to involve more people in the fight for Civil Rights. He preached in the streets and had big speeches at huge universities criticising the American society with support from the Civil Rights activists. Even though The Civil Rights movement was his main movement to follow, Malcolm X did not support Martin Luther’s traditional ways of using non-violence.
But since most of the civil rights activists were pleased with these methods, Malcolm had to start a new movement that did thing the way he wanted. Methods As written above, Malcolm X did not support Martin Luther King’s ways of doing things, and was determined to get people to follow his own methods. Malcolm’s methods mainly revolved around giving violent and powerful speeches to alert people about the situation. Everywhere he held speeches, he encouraged his followers to riot and hate, and do “anything that was necessary. Speeches, marches and demonstrations where also made her, but far from as peaceful as the civil rights movement. Malcolm believed that if the African Americans established a new black society, gained more black identity pride and could just go out and be Africans; people would be more involved and enthusiastic in the fight for equality. By giving the African Americans the chance to learn about the African culture, language, traditional dress code and etc, they were able to strengthen the sense of their black pride, and this was used as a base for the rest of the promoting of the movement.
Community centres, companies and organisations were later created, giving the blacks more control over themselves as humans in the segregated American society. The Comparison Both Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X were leaders of movements that worked towards improving human rights. They were passionate in what they were doing, eager to make black and white people live beside each other in a multicultural society and make life easier for everyone. They are both remembered for their strong, powerful speeches, but even though the two movements were so similar, they were still different.
The main thing that separated the two movements from each other was the philosophy and methods used. Martin Luther King’s main goal was to fit the African Americans into the traditional system that covered the social, political and cultural systems by reforming it. This was going to be done by only using non-violent methods, while Malcolm X’s main goal was to make the white peoples system to stop oppressing the Black people instead of the black trying to fit into theirs. And to achieve that, they could use any strategies that were necessary. The methods used to achieve their goals had very little in common.
The Civil Right activists used mass demonstrations and protests as their main instrument. They would march and demonstrate, disobeyed laws and orders until they got what they wanted. The Black Pride followers often used violent expression and rhetoric to reach out to the masses, and earn respect from the whites. By showing their black identity, they got the confidence to keep fighting. Compared to each other, both of the methods worked, but later people discovered that using force and showing their feelings, made a greater difference in the fight for Civil Rights.
Conclusion At the end these two men were the ones who stood up and did something about the problem. A lot of hard work was made during the process, with a lot of suffering from the people who were against them. If it was only one of the movements that were decisive, or if it were the two movements joint together that that made the changes is hard to say. During the time of my research for this article, less than a handful of people knew or had heard of the Black Pride Movement before, while everybody knew about Civil Rights.
Still it is said that if it were not for the Black pride Movement using force in expressing themselves, the civil rights movement would not have gone as far as it did. We have now learned that the achievement of equal rights came from a cooperation of both of the movements. The legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X will continue to live on, always thinking that the result of what they did and achieved, has now given the following generations the opportunity to live together in peace.
Cite this A Comparison of the Civil Rights- & the Black Pride Movements
A Comparison of the Civil Rights- & the Black Pride Movements. (2017, Mar 28). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/a-comparison-of-the-civil-rights-the-black-pride-movements/