Martin Luther King Vs. Malcolm X.

Essay by EggyHigh School, 11th grade December 2003

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Martin Luther King and Malcolm X were both respected ministers and established leaders of the African-American people. These two men, how different they may have seemed to be, had the same goal: They wanted to end exploitation, discrimination and racism against the Blacks. One used the means of non-violence, and the other was willing to gain freedom by "any means necessary."

Both had been deeply influenced by their fathers, especially by their pride to be black. King later came up with the saying "Black is beautiful".

Malcolm had emerged from the black underclass in the northern ghettos to a spokesman for the poor blacks. The poor masses followed him because he was not afraid to speak out what they felt. He followed the teachings of the Islam and held unto Black Nationalism. He demanded justice and that African-Americans should be respected as human-beings. He preached that blacks first had to love themselves to build up their self-consciousness.

Martin had emerged from a middle-class family. He became a moderate leader whose approach was to make the white man feel guilty and therefore co-operative. He was also accepted by liberal Whites, which in turn kept him from becoming more radical because he was supported by them. (White 214)

Malcolm criticized this dependency as well as Martins wish to integrate into the mainstream of American society. "Any Negro trying to integrate is actually admitting his inferiority, because he is admitting that he wants to become a part of a 'superior' society" (White 127). Martin always avoided meeting Malcolm because he didn't want to be associated with him. They only met once, at the US Senate debate of the Civil Rights Bill on March 26th 1964. Both traveled through Europe and Africa, establishing important links between the African people and the African-Americans. "While Martin...