MARK OF THE X: PETER TOSH & MALCOLM X

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MARK OF THE X: PETER TOSH & MALCOLM X

Words can influence and move a group of people to fight for what they believe in. There have been several influential leaders throughout time. These men and women have changed the shape and direction of our world. Their influence and passion has made it possible for people to fight against injustices. Within this group of leaders there are several different styles and approaches to uniting people and fighting for a cause. Some of these leaders and their styles are ubiquitous, while others only have a few paragraphs in the history books. The civil rights movement in the United States and the civil unrest in Jamaica had two different types of leaders. The first was the civil, peaceful and universally excepted leader. Bob Marley and Martin Luther King Jr. encompassed these qualities. On the other hand, the militant, revolutionary and controversial leaders also played a major role in these movements. Peter Tosh and Malcolm X were the characteristically hostile leaders of each of these movements. Although, all four of these leaders were effective in their own ways, ultimately, it was only the peaceful and socially "accepted" leaders that had a lasting impact and were able to create, what seemed like, permanent change.

The similarities between Peter Tosh’s life and Malcolm X’s are uncanny. They both went about change in a way that was exclusive and unsettling. In the end it is clear that in order to impact people significantly one has to play by the rules that the dominate society sets up. Bob Marley and Martin Luther King Jr. did this. The change and "justices" that Marley and King fought for seem somewhat misleading. Although took steps towards equal rights they did this on the white man’s terms thus making their "justices" seem more illustrious then they actually were.

Both Malcolm X and Peter Tosh had similar upbringings in that they both experienced the hardships of growing up poor without their parents.

Peter Tosh grew up in Kingston, Jamaica. This area is located outside of the larger Trenchtown and is known as a "ghetto." Without the guidance of either of his parents, Tosh was raised by his grand-aunt until he was fifteen years old. Similarly, Malcolm X’s father was murdered when Malcolm was only six and a couple of years later his mother was taken from their home and put into an institution.

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