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Malcom X & Martin Luther king Jr Compare & Contrast

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Malcolm X and Martin Luther king Jr are arguably the most well-known and first to be said or thought about African American individuals throughout history. They fought for what they stood for and both men did it in many different ways. As we all know in history there are no two great men that are alike. Their many beliefs may have blossomed from the households they came from and how they grew up. Many people have compared these two African-American activists as well as saw what they had in common.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia. King grew up in a middle class family and was well educated. Martin Luther King Jr. was always against violence, throughout his entire ministry. He always stood his ground, and he stood out because even though he may have been physically attacked, he never reacted with violence. Martin Luther King Jr. followed the Christian faith. One of the many accomplishments by Martin Luther King jr. was the civil rights acts was the March on Washington, this portrayed the different perspectives, methods and ways Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X handled things. The March on Washington took place on August 28, 1963. More than 20,000 people came to march from Washington to the Lincoln memorial in Washington D.C. This march happened to be one of Martin Luther King Jr.’s greatest accomplishments throughout his life. This event is where he took the face of the civil rights movement. Even in a time of violence, King would never act out.

King wanted all the races to come together for the hatred and violence to be put to a complete stop. MLK’s approach to civil rights and equality was non-violent protesting, speaking out for non-violence, passive resistance. Martin Luther King called these act’s weapons of love. King based a lot of his methods and strategies on how he approached things from Gandhi. Gandhi used these methods years earlier in his protests against British control in India. Martin Luther King goal when using nonviolence was not to defeat or humiliate the opponent but rather to win him or her over to understanding new ways to create cooperation and community. He thought that Non-violent resistance is not for cowards. It is not a quiet, passive acceptance of evil.

One is passive and non-violent physically, but very active spiritually, always seeking ways to persuade the opponent of advantages to the way of love, cooperation, and peace. He also believed that using nonviolent resistance, one learns to avoid physical violence toward others and also learns to love the opponents with agape or unconditional love. This is love given not for what one will receive in return, but for the sake of love alone. It is God flowing through the human heart. Agape is ahimsa. He stated that “Non-violent resistance is based on the belief that the universe is just. There is God or a creative force that is moving us toward universal love and wholeness continually. Therefore, all our work for justice will bear fruit – the fruit of love, peace, and justice for all beings everywhere.”

Malcolm X grew up in an underprivileged environment that was very hostile with barely any schooling. Malcolm X was born Malcolm Little on May 19, 1925 in Omaha, Nebraska. Malcolm X was a Muslim, and believed in Muslim principles. His most famous line was “By any Means Necessary”. He believed in fighting back physically. Whatever had to be done to get freedom he was all for it whether it be violence or nonviolence. Although later in life he visited Jerusalem, and met other Muslims. He changed his views, and became nonviolent. Malcolm X had a different perspective regarding the march. He felt that integration would destroy the black and the white man. He felt that American blacks should be more concerned with helping each other. He also felt blacks should start by giving the same race self-respect first. He did not agree with what King had to say, he felt that kings dream was not a dream but a nightmare. Malcolm X’s approach to civil rights/equality was extremely different. He was suspicious of whites, willing to use “by any means necessary” to achieve equality.

He was a segregationist until he went to Mecca. The commonality that they both share is that they both wanted equal rights for African Americans they just went down different paths to receive those rights. Malcolm also had achievements he achieved as well. Malcolm X was a great man who fought for what he believed in. Most people thought that he was a horrible person but he was just trying to get his point across even though sometimes his words were harsh, like his famous quote, “By any means necessary”. One of the objectives of the Civil Rights Movement was to shed light on and address unfair discriminatory practices. Malcolm X shed light on many deplorable conditions faced by people of African descent. When Malcolm X was featured in a week-long television special with Mike Wallace in 1959 he most certainly shed light on unfair discriminatory practices. While it is not possible to accurately measure his impact, it is fair to say that he impacted the Civil Rights movement by helping to expose discriminatory practices which ultimately led to significant changes in what the legal system declared unlawful.

For example, a number of laws were put into place that had a significant impact on the lives and civil rights of Black people. For instance, from 1959-1965, sixteen states passed fair housing laws that prohibited racial, religious, and national origin discrimination in various sectors of the private housing market. In 1954 the US Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of education declared segregation in public schools unconstitutional, nullifying the earlier judicial doctrine of “separate but equal.” In 1965President Johnson signed the US Voting Rights Act of 1965. This act prohibited literacy tests and poll taxes which had been used to prevent blacks from voting. On June 29, 1963 Malcolm lead one of the nation’s largest civil rights events known as the Unity Rally in Harlem.

Malcolm worked on his autobiography for two years with writer Alex Haley, which was published in November 1965. Malcolm X also went to a far extent Offer Solutions to Racial Problems That Were Not Addressed by the SCLC. The SCLC stood for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Malcolm X had notably different opinions and perspectives to the SCLC when it came down to solving issues relating to racial problems within the United States. Malcolm X and the SCLC would have arguably thought about the main racial problems affecting African Americans in the 1950s and also the 1960s. The lack of civil rights, officials not noticing discrimination, especially in the Southern states, would racially motivated violence and even murders. Malcolm X had different perspectives with regard to racial problems than the SCLC and its most prominent member Martin Luther King, which can explain differences in their offering of solutions to such problems.

Malcolm X did offer different solutions to racial problems that were not addressed by the SCLC and Martin Luther King. Indeed Martin Luther King formed the SCLC before Malcolm X became widely known throughout the United States due to his efforts in solving racial problems that would improve the quality of life for all African Americans. The main focus for Martin Luther King and the SCLC was upon dealing with racial problems in the Southern states, where African Americans faced the greatest amount of legal blocks to achieving meaningful exercising their civil rights. The SCLC under the leadership of Martin Luther King concentrated the vast majority of its campaigning efforts to the removal of legally enforced segregation in the Southern states. The SCLC campaigned nationally to force the federal government into enforcing civil rights. It had officially been granted as a result of the American Civil War. The Southern focus of the SCLC was understandable, yet Malcolm X thought it was the wrong way of solving racial problems across the whole of the United States.

Malcolm X regarded the racial problems experienced by African Americans, as not been solvable by formally gaining legally protected civil rights across the whole country alone. Malcolm X believed that the objectives, as well as the strategies of the SCLC did not completely address the racial problems encountered by African Americans living the United States. Malcolm X argued that the SCLC and Martin Luther King were unfortunately mistaken if they believed that the gaining of legal civil rights in the Southern states would magically make life free of racial problems for African Americans. After all in the Northern states, nobody had passed legislation equivalent to the Jim Crow laws enacted in the Southern states, yet African Americans in the North did not gain any better treatment from white Americans than their Southern counterparts.

In the Northern states the constitutional amendments granting civil rights to African Americans had been enforced by the federal government, but racial discrimination was just as rife as in the Southern states. Informal discrimination in the Northern states was bad as the Jim Crow laws employed to deny civil rights to African Americans in the Southern states. Instead of concentrating solely upon removing the Jim Crow laws in the Southern states, Malcolm X recommended that all African Americans had to protest against the widespread racial discrimination directed towards them. The differing emphasis about how to tackle racial problems had a geographical effect. Malcolm X lived in the Northern states, whilst the SCLC and Martin Luther King were based in the Southern states. Malcolm X from his own experiences was aware that legally enshrined civil rights were not enough to solve racial problems.

As you can see, these are comparisons and differences between Malcolm X and Martin Luther king Jr. Also you can see, why they are arguably the most well-known and first to be said or thought about African American individuals throughout history. Why they fought for what they stood for and both men did it in many different ways. As we all know in history there are no two great men that are alike. Their many beliefs may have blossomed from the households they came from and how they grew up. Many people have compared these two African-American activists as well as saw what they had in common.

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