American CIvil Rights

Essay by Alexsintra April 2004

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Civil rights

Land of the Free, The United States was founded on the principles of freedom and democracy. But the failure of our founding fathers to expel the racist nature of our society. This nature led to the American Civil War, and the Black American Civil Rights movement of the 1960's. Oppressed nation wide, African-Americans needed leaders for their struggle for true equality. These leaders were Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. Though both were sons of Southern Baptist preachers, their situations led them to lead starkly contrasting lives. Dr. King, with his gospel of non violence and peace gave him much more white support, but Malcolm X and his self called "realistic" doctrine gained surprising support for the Nation of Islam. The two wanted different things, but both called for an end to injustice in the United States. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a born in Atlanta, Georgia.

His family was well off, and he led a fairly comfortable life. His home life was very strong, and Dr. King was impressed with the way his father stood up to white racists. He entered college at Morehouse in Atlanta determined to help his people. In contrast, Malcolm Little was not as well off. His family was forced by racists out of his home in Omaha, and they found similar difficulties in Lansing, Michigan. Malcolm's father was killed when he was very young, and this led to his eventual life on the streets. He developed a feeling of racial inferiority on the streets. Malcolm Little used drugs, dated a white woman and even straightened his hair to appear whiter. This life of drugs and crime led to the inevitable, and Malcolm ended up in prison. It was in prison that he became Malcolm X. He began to educate...