Martin Luther King, arguably more than any other figure, shaped American life from the mid-1950s to the late 1960s. During this time, the population of African Americans, which was barely recognized as anything more than a minority, followed King to the "dream" of societal reform, and equality between Blacks and Whites.
King's factual and reasoned approach intended to win his adversaries over by appealing to their consciences. From his peaceful persuasion, to imaginative solutions in changing times to the power of hope, optimism and non-violence strategy were valuable applications and a comprehensive instrument for taking courageous action under even the most difficult of circumstances. Above all, King follows his method of careful reasoning and is convinced that his arguments will persuade his audience, and it is through his non-violent strategy, that his adversaries are able to actually hear what he is saying, rather than be concerned of his growing political position and role within the growing civil rights movement.
Likewise, the "sit-in" became a non-violent method of active protest. Ultimately, King knew that any violence on the part of his civil rights workers would lead to violent counterattacks from segregationists.
While African Americans were forced into an unconditional position as second-class human beings, King can be regarded as the catalyst for the removal of this status. His vision and leadership was holistic and ground upon the principles of non-violence. The power of his message and the appeal of his movement brought thousands of people, both Black and White, to his movement.
Malcolm X played a different kind of role to that of King, and we can look at these two important figures in comparison to Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois; the conservatist Vs. the radicalist. Malcolm X employed an openly violent approach towards equality, as he...