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Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X

Essay by review  •  September 16, 2010  •  Essay  •  629 Words (3 Pages)  •  665 Views

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Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X had a common purpose for African Americans; justice and equality. Illustrated through their speeches, Martin Luther King Jr's "I Have a Dream" and Malcolm X's "Talk to Young African Americans", the two did not share techniques or ideas. Yet both men had the support of millions and millions of people.

One of the worlds best known advocates of non-violent social change strategies was Martin Luther King Jr. He synthesized ideals drawn from many different cultural traditions. The image of a social activist and leader was the result of extensive formal education, strong personal values and licit ethics. This excellence in leadership can be traced to his character, which is shaped by his moral values and personality. King believed in equality and peace for all races. "Black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholic, will be able to join hands" (King, 1963). King did not just focus on African American struggles, but for all races and creeds. King's strategy was one of peace and embracing the oppressor. "The sons of slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down at the table of brotherhood" (King 1963). He encourages his followers to remember that all people are God's children and that hopefully one day all Americans from all backgrounds can join together to sing "My country Ð''tis of thee, Sweet land of liberty, of thee I singÐ'..."

Malcolm taught a message of self-help and personal responsibility. This was and still is the message from the Nation of Islam. Like the Nation, he also spoke of a separate nation for African Americans only.

Unlike King, Malcolm X encouraged his followers to rebel against whites. Malcolm X, for the most part, believed that non-violence and integration was a trick by the whites to keep African Americans oppressed. "Don't you run around here trying to make friends with somebody who's depriving you of your rights" (X 1964). He was furious at white racism and encouraged his followers through his speeches to rise up and protest against their white enemies. "They're not your friends, no, they are your enemy. Treat them like that and fight them"(X 1964). He encouraged African Americans to stand up against the white America that oppressed them.

Malcolm X used direct

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