Similarities Between Malcolm X And Martin Luther King

1515 Words7 Pages
Introduction
In the 1950s and 1960s both Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr were very prominent and influential men. These men were both the voices of Black America at the time, but they had different messages to send. Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr had opposing philosophies on topics such as integration, religion, and defense tactics; however, they still shared some similarities.

Background Malcolm X was born in Omaha on May 19, 1925 as Malcolm Little to Reverend Earl Little and Louise Little. Malcolm’s father was a Baptist minister and a committed organizer for Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) . Garvey believed that the black race should remain pure and return to the homeland (Africa) . Malcolm’s father’s involvement led to two of their houses being burned down by Ku Klux Klan members. At age six, Malcolm’s father was killed by Ku Klux Klan members. After, his father’s death his mother was soon pronounced paranoid and the kids were split up . At age twenty, Malcolm began serving six and a half years in prison for larceny. In prison, he read history, philosophy, religion, about the life of Gandhi, and Nat Turner. He also read the works of W.E.B. DuBois, Shakespeare, and Socrates. It was in prison that he found out about Islam through his brother who became a member of the Nation of Islam. Once released Malcolm joined the nation of Islam and became Malcolm X . Elijah Muhammad, the head of the Nation of Islam, took Malcolm under his wing. Soon, Malcolm worked to expand the black Islamic community and even became of the most important temple on the east coast, Temple No. 7 in Harlem . Later on, Malcolm had become very expressive about civil rights during his speeches and they were not often centered around religion. This angered Elijah Muhammad and caused them to drift. Malcolm soon left the Nation of Islam and created his own religious organization called the Muslim Mosque Inc. for his followers. This caused the Nation of Islam to become even more upset with Malcolm. Later more conflicts arose between the two groups. On February 21, 1965 Malcolm was assassinated by three Black Muslims before delivering a speech in Harlem .

Martin Luther King Jr. was born Michael Luther
Get Access