Essay about Malcolm X vs Martin Luther King Jr

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In looking at how the actions of two of the Blount curriculum’s selected writers influenced historical change, progress, and thought I chose to focus on their respective views of race and race relations, in particular the Civil Rights Movement. I chose to write on the two diametrically opposed civil rights activists Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. In the 1960’s the African American community became increasingly active in the struggle for civil rights. Although the concept race is an arbitrary societal construct based on the color of an individual’s skin and his or her geographic origin, it has had a profound impact not only on the founding and formation of our country but also the development modern American society. King and …show more content…
Following the non-violent principles of Gandhi, King ignited hope into the eyes of thousands of African Americans for equal rights. Early in his career he realized that non-violent protest was the most efficient way of achieving his goal. He stated that: "I had come to see early that the Christian doctrine of love operating through the Gandhian method of non-violence was one of the most potent weapons available to the Negro in his struggle for freedom." In seeking to continue and expand the non-violent struggle against discrimination, King, along with other Black ministers, set up the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. As a result of his consistent commitment to nonviolence, black college students began to launch a series of sit-ins at lunch counters and public places where segregation was existent (King 39).
The turning point in King’s career came in 1963 in Birmingham, Alabama. The SCLC launched a major demonstration to protest anti-Black attitudes in the South. Confrontations ensued between unarmed Black demonstrators and Birmingham police and firemen who used clubs, attack dogs, and fire hoses as a show of unnecessary force to quell the crowd. The publication of this demonstration and the incidents that ensued had profound effects across the country. It sparked protests across the country and prompted President John F. Kennedy to push for passage of new civil rights legislation.
The Birmingham incident resulted in