Essay on MLKJ or MX?

Submitted By bobbydylan
Words: 779
Pages: 4

Martin Luther King Jr. or Malcolm X; Who’s philosophy made the most sense? Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X were the most influential leaders of the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s that reshaped American society. Both were charismatic leaders whose purpose was to bring equal rights and a positive sense of black identity to African Americans, but their philosophies and methods differed. Martin Luther King was a strong advocate of racial integration and Malcolm X believed in racial separatism. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X grew up in different environments. King was raised in a comfortable middle-class family where education was crucial, and Malcolm X came from a family of low class. He was a self-taught man who received little schooling and became who he is on his own. Martin Luther King was born into a good family. Despite segregation, Martin Luther King's parents tried everything so that he could be secure and happy. He was a smart student and skipped two grades before entering college and passed the entrance exam to Morehouse University at only the age of 15. Malcolm X was raised in a completely different atmosphere than King, an atmosphere of fear and anger. Because of the burning of his house his father died. His mother later suffered a nervous breakdown and his family was split up. After his mother had a mental breakdown, the children were all placed in foster homes. Malcolm X’s resentment was increased as he went through integrated schooling. From then on; he was driven by hate and a desire for revenge. Due to all the problems he decided to drop out of school and move to Boston with his half-sister.

Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm both had the same goals; however they had different methods of achieving them. Martin Luther King Jr. believed in integration and the inclusion of whites into the struggle for black equality, and his method to achieve equality was through non-violence via civil disobedience. Also his philosophy was nonviolent. Violence would only alienate those who disagreed with the groups, rather than actually changing anything. Martin Luther King's philosophy, if enacted effectively, would put enormous economic and political pressure on society to change, which is just as powerful in large numbers, only it doesn't have the negative side effect of causing people to disagree with the cause without actually considering it as Malcolm X's violence tended to do. Malcolm X believed in black separatism and was an advocate of Black Nationalism, a more militant form of black identity in the United States that advocated self-defense against whites in which violence was acceptable; he later changed his thinking. Malcolm X also proved very popular with young black males who had grown disillusioned with society and the lack of change. However MLK's methods and ideas were the only ones which could potentially achieve lasting change. Because of the life that Malcolm X and Martin Luther King lived was responsible for the distinct different responses to American racism. Both men were important to the…