Malcolm X vs. Dr. King: Passive vs; Aggressive Essay

Malcolm X vs. Dr. King: Passive vs; Aggressive Essay

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Africans were brought to America by Europeans, not of their own volition, but in chains, without the knowledge that over the next several hundred years, generations and generations of our people would be brutally and unjustly treated as nothing more than property or animals. The era during which slavery flourished, Africans were bred, overworked, beaten, lynched, and stripped of any positive identity or self respect. When slavery was abolished in 1865, Africans, or former slaves, were left without a “place” in America. Where did they fit in? What was the role that they were to play as, so called, American citizens? Some, undertook the role of “leader”, and preached and taught what they felt was the best process by which, blacks could achieve equality. From the beginning, however, there were conflicts concerning the nature of how this was to be accomplished. This discrepancy over passive and aggressive attitude concerning the advancement of blacks in America has permeated, and at times, divided the black community from the time that Africans were brought here in chains, until the present. Malcolm X’s philosophies, which centered more on blacks accepting themselves, and loving themselves, and creating their own sense of pride, was deemed racist by the media and he was portrayed as militant/violent by the Civil Rights Activists, when in fact Malcolm X’s teachings contain the exact remedy that we “victims of America” (Malcolm X uses this term to distinguish the fact that blacks were not brought to America out of their own volition) need in order to live the best lives in the conditions that we have been forced into by whites.
     Booker T. Washington, born in 1856, was a prominent leader of the black community during the years following the abolishment of slavery, who believed that equality and respect for blacks would be gained over time. Washington preached to his followers that they should work on bettering themselves, not through liberal education, but by learning a trade or vocation which could be of service to either the black or white community, and that in time, whites would allow blacks to assimilate into their society. William Edward Burghardt Dubois, born in 1868 and more commonly known as W. E. B Dubois, was Washington’s adversary. Dubois preached that blacks should demand their rights, both human and civil, and that this w...


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...proach of the Civil Rights Movement, led by Dr. King and financed by whites, would lead to the loss of black pride because it would encourage blacks to “try to be white” in order to “fit in” the white society. Today, blacks have the same legal rights as whites, but there is still blatant racism in America. Blacks have integrated into the white society, and the loss that Malcolm feared has become a reality. We straighten our hair in order to make it look like theirs, wear their clothes, and learn a school curriculum that centers around their history. There are more black men in prison than in college, and the percentage of black owned businesses is considerably disproportionate to the black population. The Civil Rights Movement was successful, and the Black Power Movement has been forgotten, but have blacks found their “place”?










SOURCES:
Haley, Alex; The Autobiography of Malcolm X; Ballantine Publishing Group; 1964

Malcolm X; “Message to the Grass Roots,” speech, Nov. 1963, Detroit (Published in Malcolm X Speaks, ch. 1, 1965)

Malcolm X; speech, Dec 12, 1964, New York, NY

Marable, Manning; “By Any Means Necessary: The Life and Legacy of Malcolm X”, speech; New York, NY

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