Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X

1500 Words6 Pages
During the Civil Rights Movement, which lasted from 1865 to the late 1960s, three different amendments were composed and ratified in favor of African Americans. Many famous African Americans, from musicians to authors and leaders to entertainers, sprouted from the influence of this period. Two strong leaders from this era were Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. Martin Luther King Jr. made a bigger impact on the population than Malcolm X because of his speeches, beliefs, direct and peaceful activities, and the effect his death had on the population.

Martin Luther King Jr.’s belief was that people of all colors, including both blacks and whites, could live in eternal peace and equality. King believed that “an unjust law is no law at all” (Dinar, par.12). He was all in favor for equal rights, and he wanted them as soon as possible. “We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God given rights. The nations of Asia and Africa are moving with jet-like speed toward gaining political independence, but we still creep at horse and buggy pace toward gaining a cup of coffee at a lunch counter” (Dinar, par.12). King felt that African Americans of the United States were past overdue for their civil and equal rights.

Malcolm X’s beliefs completely contradicted that of King’s. Malcolm X believed that blacks and whites should be completely isolated from one another in order to attain freedom, and he promoted violence as a means of achieving such a goal. In fact, he stated “the [nonviolence] philosophy of a fool...There is no philosophy more befitting to the white man’s tactics for keeping his foot on the black man’s neck” (Cone, par.5). Malcolm X thought that African Americans deserved a little more than simple integr...

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...r deaths had impacts on the population. However, Martin Luther King Jr. was a greater speaker than Malcolm X.

Works Cited

Alvah, Donna. “Civil Rights Movement.” Dictionary of American History. Ed. Stanley I. Kutler.

3rd ed. Vol. 2. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2003. 200-206. Gale World History in

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Ali-Dinar, Ali . "Letter From a Birmingham Jail [King, Jr.]." University

of Pennsylvania. University of Pennsylvania, 12 Jun 2001. Web. 11

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Brace, Harcourt. “Pe Us in Modern Times Hb Soc Std.” Orlando, Fl:

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt ,1999. 372-78. Print.

Carson, Clayborne. "Life." Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History. Ed. Colin A.

Palmer. 2nd ed. Vol. 3. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2006. 1239-1243. Gale World History In Context. Web. 11 Apr. 2011
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