Malcolm X vs. Martin Luther King Jr.

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The Civil Rights Movement symbolized the challenge and opposition to the racial injustices and segregation that had been engrained in American society for hundreds of years. Events that took place in the 1950s and 1960s, such as the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the March on Washington, sit-ins, speeches and numerous protests define this momentous time in United States history. Speeches during this period served as a means to inspire and assemble a specific group of people, for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X it was the black community that needed to rise up in hopes of achieving equal rights and voting rights for the blacks.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X were two of the most prominent leaders and orators at the heart of
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He made various promises, one being to “transform the salient misdeeds of blood-thirsty mobs into the calculated good deeds of orderly citizens” (“Give us the Ballot” King, 198). Dr. King pointed out where the conflicts and hypocrisy lay within the administration, but was more than willing to plead and negotiate with the United States Government than Malcolm X. In contrast, Malcolm X declared blacks had been victims of “Americanism,” wherein immigrants and colonists had all been deemed “American” but not blacks. Blacks were always considered African. (Malcolm X, 36) Malcolm X emphasized the genocidal and racist history of America. He demanded for a type of “black nationalism” where the black man is given the power to control the politics and the economy in his own community (36). Malcolm X argued the black man is the reason the white man is so rich and it is through the long history of economic and political oppression and social degradation that has forced these burdens on the black man. Dr. King thought the black community had evolved and succeeded, particularly in the development of the federal court case Brown vs. Board of Education, where schools across the nation were desegregated. Malcolm X, however, said “There’s
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