Compare And Contrast Martin Luther King And Malcolm X Speech

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Powerful movements require powerful leadership. During the 1960s a push for civil rights developed, and African Americans took various positions. Two strong leaders, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X approached the Civil Rights Movement using different methods. Their speeches reflect the disposition of their tactics. In his speech, “I Have a Dream,” Martin Luther King, Jr. focuses on applying his non-violent philosophy. On the contrary, Malcolm X projects himself in an aggressive tone reflecting the attitudes of Black Nationalists in “Ballot or the Bullet.” These speakers demonstrate their objectives and tone through their use of diction and syntax. King and Malcolm X use similar word choice to reflect their demands for change. Neither of the men expect to wait passively, but instead incite change through diction. King uses diction reflecting a formal and nonviolent tone demonstrating hope for a better future. “This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism” (King 6). King’s use of tranquilizing works within the metaphor, “tranquilizing drug of gradualism,” to emphasize the need for action. Tranquilization is meant to put a force down, so King compares gradualism to tranquilization, which in turn advocates proactivity in the movement. The call to action does not include violence, but instead stands on a moral ground. “We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline” (King 8). The
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