Comparing Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X Essays

Comparing Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X Essays

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During the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s in the United States, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X had different methods and philosophies for trying to accomplish the very similar goal of civil rights for African Americans. Although Martin Luther King, Jr. had a philosophy of non-violence and racial integration and Malcolm X believed violence might be necessary and believed in racial separation, the two leaders had a lot in common: “Martin and Malcolm have become the two most recognizable African American icons of the twentieth century”(Carson 22). Both men had similar backgrounds. Their fathers were Baptist ministers and both became religious leaders. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Southern Baptist minister inspired by the Hindu leader Mohandas K. Ghandi, and Malcolm X was a minister in the Nation of Islam, inspired by the teachings of Elijah Muhammad. However, according to at 1965 article in Ebony magazine, “they followed different paths that brought them both into the international limelight, espousing radically different philosophies and yet, strangely, working toward the same end—the winning of the dignity of manhood for the black man in America” (Violence Versus Non-Violence). Both men received multiple threats to their lives during their work and both ended up being assassinated Malcolm X on February 21, 1965 and Martin Luther King, Jr. on April 4, 1968. According to Ebony, both men were highly educated and they spread their messages through the “white press,” which “maligned Malcolm and extolled King-seemingly without realizing how close were the goals of the two men” (Violence Versus Non-Violence). Though they had differing philosophies and methods, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X had the same goal: civil ...


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Collins, David R. Malcolm X: Black Rage. New York: Dillon, 1992. Print.
Cone, James H. "Martin And Malcolm On Nonviolence And Violence." Phylon 49.3/4 (2001): 173. Academic Search Premier. Web. 20 Mar. 2014.
Davies, Mark. Malcolm X: Another Side of the Movement. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Silver Burdett, 1990. Print.
Drash, Wayne. "Malcolm X Killer Freed After 44 Years." CNN. Cable News Network, 28 Apr. 2010. Web. 11 Apr. 2014.
Harding, Vincent. Martin Luther King, the Inconvenient Hero. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1996. Print.
"Malcolm X." History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 18 Mar. 2014.
Robinson, Tom. Malcolm X: Rights Activist and Nation of Islam Leader. Minneapolis, MN: Abdo, 2014. Print.
"Violence Versus Non-Violence." Ebony Apr. 1965: 168. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 20 Mar. 2014.

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