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Differences Between Martin Luther King and Malcolm X

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During the 1960’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X represented two sides of the Civil Rights Movement.

Speaking to all of humanity, Dr. King made these famous peaceful words, “I have a dream, a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal” (King, 1963, para 10). Malcolm X spoke of a violent revolution by claiming, “If it’s necessary to form a Black Nationalist army, we’ll form a Black Nationalist army.

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It’ll be the ballot or the bullet.

It’ll be liberty or it’ll be death” (Malcolm X, 1964, para. 55). These two inspirational leaders were fighting for the same cause; equal rights for black Americans. Dr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X had very different beliefs and tangible differences in the actions of their followers in how to achieve equal rights for black Americans. Dr. Martin Luther King was fighting for a color-blind society where people would be judged and valued on their skills and characters rather than the color of their skin.

Malcolm X, on the other hand, was fighting in favor of a separate black nation, instead of integration of all races. Dr. Martin Luther King preached non-violent means of expression and actions that he believed were the most effective method to achieve the goal of equality. Dr.

King’s non-violent methods had the ability to not only influence people of color, but also people in positions of power, including President Kennedy. During the time that Dr. King fought for civil rights, the Civil Rights Act was passed; buses, schools, and lunch counters were desegregated (Moss and Thomas, p. 02-105).

Dr. King’s efforts gave the Civil Rights Movement national and worldwide attention, lessening the segregation gap between people of color and white Americans. Dr. King was successful in using nonviolence as an effective tool to battle racial discrimination to achieve justice and equality.

In 1964, Dr. King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Malcolm X’s despair about life was reflected in his angry, pessimistic belief that equality is impossible because whites have no moral conscience.Malcolm X, however, promoted nationalist and separatist doctrines.

For most of his life, he believed that only through revolution and force could blacks attain their rightful place in society. Malcolm X joined the Nation of Islam eventually becoming the chief spokesperson and had a great influence on black Americans. Malcolm X believed that only through revolution and force could black Americans attain their rightful place in society. Malcolm X and his followers were determined to enact justice for the injustices they perceived, by any means possible.

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 colored people, the tactics they used to make these dreams a reality were very different. The background, environment and philosophy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X were largely responsible for the distinctly varying responses to American racism.

Dr. Martin Luther King’s style and tactics had more of an impact on policies and leaders that effectively brought the dream of equality closer to reality than Malcolm X’s violent action and policies. Both were great leaders whom many admired but were both assassinated by those that vehemently opposed their beliefs and movements. These men changed history and the way people think about each other.

References
Biography.Com. (1997-2010). Biography Of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Retrieved July 10, 2010, from Bio True Story: http://www.biography.com/articles/Martin-Luther-King-Jr.- 9365086?part=5King, M.

L. (1963, April 16). Letter From Birmingham Jail. Retrieved July 8, 2010, from Bates College: http://abacus.

bates.edu/admin/offices/dos/mlk/letter.html King, M. L.

(1963, August 28). Martin Luther King, Jr. “I Have A Dream”. Retrieved July 9, 2010, from AmericanRhetoric: http://www.

americanrhetoric.com/rhetoric.com/speeches/ mlkihaveadream.htm Moss, G.

D., & Thomas, E. (2010). Moving On The American People Since 1945 (4th Edition ed.

). (C. J. Owens, Ed.

) Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, United States of America: Prentice House. X, M. (2010). Malcolm X.

Retrieved July 9, 2010, from Encyclopedia Of World Biography: http://www.notablebiographies.com/Lo-Ma/Malcolm-X.html X, M.

(1964, April 3). The Ballot Or The Bullet. Retrieved July 9, 2010, from Social Justice Speeches: http://www.edchange.org/multicultural/speeches/malcolm_x_ballot.html

Cite this Differences Between Martin Luther King and Malcolm X

Differences Between Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. (2017, May 07). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/differences-between-martin-luther-king-and-malcolm-x/

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