Ambitious, Strong, Intelligent, Evolving; are all great terms to describe the two most famous men in the Civil Rights –“Black Power” movement. Martin and Malcolm, both are very different people yet so similar; fighting for the same aspirations but on two completely different battlegrounds. They both had the same goal of extinguishing racism. Yet both had their own philosophies and beliefs they followed and they both gave inspiring and moving speeches, but portrayed in two different views. King was more of a positive speech giver whereas Malcolm was more negative about his views. Both Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. have evolved excessively within the six years leading to their deaths in 1965 and 1968. Both men had grown so much from their experiences through the movement. Martin and Malcolm were both activists, instructors, and warriors of the civil rights movement, yet have many dissimilarities between the two.
It was 1963 where King’s reputation had become very well known. King had arrived to Birmingham and had been arrested and jailed during the anti- segregation protest also known as the Birmingham campaign. By August of that year Dr. Martin Luther King had fulfilled Phillip Randolph’s dream of having a March on Washington back in 1941 that was as a threat to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The March on Washington that wanted to be formed by Randolph focused more on jobs for the Black community whereas Kings Idea for the march was for ‘Freedom’. This was the day that Kings had gained the most recognition for his world famous speech “I Have a Dream.” As successful as the march had been it had been brought down by the bombing and deaths of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham Alabama where it had been a very popular place for civil rights meetings. Due to the bombing there had been deaths of four young girls, this is when King decided that this is it. There had been many riots taking place since the bombing of the church. This was the time where SCLC’s James Bevel came up with the Bevel Plan which was presented to both Fred Shuttlesworth and Dr. King. That is where King had taken it to Kennedy and presented that there is a BIG problem in Alabama and it needed to be fixed. King stated that Kennedy should send federal troops to Birmingham to stop the violence and that he should punish the government contractors who continue to discriminate against African American employment. It was the same year President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated and this is where King had told his beloved wife that ‘This is what is going to happen to me’, ‘I keep telling you, this is such a sick society’
During these years were some of the most powerful and iconic moments that King and the SCLC had ever fashioned. 1964-65, had been the prime years of the movement .The 1964 Nobel Peace Prize had been awarded to Dr. King who at which was the youngest person to receive the elite award. He had received this award for his work to end racial segregation, and discrimination through non-violence and civil disobedience. Within this two year time frame was when the most progress had been made with King and the Civil Rights Movement with the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act. By the time the Voting Rights Act was passed, many people along with King thought that it was just “too little, too late.” This was the year that he was noted by J.Edgar Hoover to be ‘the most notorious liar in the country’ in 64’ he had constantly been tapped to be watched after because he was considered a big threat the FBI and the United States. The FBI did everything in their power to try and bring King down and even split up his own family by sending his wife letters.
King had finally started to reach his transition from the south to the north. The March of Selma to Montgomery was a key event for King in 1965. The march was known as “Bloody Sunday” in support of voting rights, but was stopped at the…