The fifties and sixties were a crazy time to live; riots were happening, many Civil Rights Movement leaders were speaking in the streets, and student sit-ins were held. Many radical activists were preaching their thoughts on racism and things needed for equality. Some people felt it necessary to turn the other cheek to violence while others claimed it to be a right to defend themselves. The major figures in the Civil Rights Movement had their own opinions on how to equalize society. Martin Luther King, Jr. felt that a peaceful movement was the best route to freedom. I discovered after much research that famous African American figures tended to side with Malcolm X and Elijah Muhammad on the best approach. Rosa Parks, Maya Angelou and James Baldwin fall under this category. They did not by any means agree completely, but had many views in common with the Islam thinkers. Malcolm X was not a pro-violence leader, but encouraged it when necessary for self-defense and protecting loved ones as Jenkins reported, “Malcolm X encouraged blacks to take a stand against their white oppressors if they were physically threatened,” (Jenkins 267). This was Malcolm’s motto when asked how blacks should fight the “white man”. James Baldwin does not share this idea even though he does admire many of Malcolm X”s thoughts. Malcolm and Baldwin strongly believe that history is an important part of knowledge and is necessary to live a prosperous life.
I am going to explain more about the Malcolm X that many admire and respect. While he was a child he received the best grades in an all white school and was even class president once. His aspiration was to be a lawyer, but his favorite teacher had told him that he could not keep dreaming unrea...
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...ill existed. One can only put up with so much before he starts to develop hate right back. I do not endorse this thinking, but can understand where Malcolm is coming from when he admits this.
Baldwin, James. “Down at the Cross.” 1995. James Baldwin: Collected Essays. Ed. Toni Morrison. New York: Library of America, 1998. 296-347
Baldwin, James. “White Man’s Guilt.” 1995. James Baldwin: Collected Essays. Ed. Toni Morrison. New York: Library of America, 1998. 722-727
Clark, Michael. “Rise in Racial Extremism Worries Harlem Leaders.” New York Times 25 Jan. 1960:1.
Jenkins, Robert. The Malcolm X Encyclopedia. Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 2002
Malcolm X. “Black Man’s History” speech. Abdul, Alkalimat, ed., Maclolm X: A Research Site (launched May 19,1999 : University of Toledo and Twenty- first Century Books). http://www.brothermalcolm.net.
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