Martin Luther King Jr. vs. Malcolm X Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X both fought for the same goal, but had different ways of achieving this goal. They both fought against civil rights and were leaders in the civil rights movement. The way they were brought up is a good explanation for their differences; King was brought up in a wealthy family, while X was raised in the ghetto to a poor family. Both fought against unfair laws, Social Discrimination, and Racial segregation, but they both had different ways of going about this.
Malcolm X was born on May 19, 1925 and was raised in a completely different atmosphere than King, an atmosphere of fear and anger where the seeds of bitterness were planted. The burning of his house by the Klu Klux Klan resulted in the murder of his father. His mother later suffered a nervous breakdown and his family was split up. He was haunted by this early nightmare for most of his life. From then on, he was driven by hatred and a desire for revenge. Martin Luther King Jr. was born on Jan. 15th, 1929 and was raised in a comfortable middle-class family where education was stressed.
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He was born into a family whose name in Atlanta was well established. Malcolm X and Martin Luther King’s childhoods had powerful influences on the men and their speeches. Malcolm X was brought up in an atmosphere of violence. During his childhood, Malcolm X suffered not only from abuse by whites, but also from domestic violence. His father beat his mother and both of them abused their children. His mother was forced to raise eight children during the depression. After his mother had a mental breakdown, the children were all placed in foster homes. Malcolm X’s resentment was increased as he suffered through the ravages of integrated schooling.
Although an intelligent student who shared the dream of being a lawyer with Martin Luther King, Malcolm X’s anger and disillusionment caused him to drop out of school. He started to use cocaine and set up a burglary ring to support his expensive habit. Malcolm X’s hostility and promotion of violence as a way of getting change was well established in his childhood. Martin Luther King lived in an entirely different environment. He was a smart student and skipped two grades before entering an Ivy League college at only the age of 15. He was the class valedictorian with an A average.
King paraded his graduation present in a new green Chevrolet before his fellow graduates. He was raised in the perfect environment where dreams and love were generated. Before the civil rights movement, blacks had to use different bathrooms, go to different schools, and even drink out of different water fountains! The different facilities were supposed to be “Separate but equal” but of course the blacks schools and other facilities were not equal. King and Malcolm X had intentions of changing this; Malcolm X simply inspired people to ignore these laws, and caused violent riots.
King on the other hand voted to change these laws and in the 1960’s the segregation laws soon changed. Like the Rosa Parks incident on the bus, it is clear to us that there was social discrimination; Blacks were forced to sit in the back of the bus. King knew that this wasn’t right and started non-violent protests, like the Montgomery buss boycott. During the Montgomery Buss boycott, all blacks started walking as their form of transportation, they stopped taking the busses and that hurt the bussing business since most whites had cars as their form of transportation.
After the boycott ended, blacks could sit anywhere on the buss they wanted to. Malcolm X sought out a different solution to problems like this, he believed in confrontation, and inspired black to stand up for what they know is right. X believed in violence and that blacks need to develop themselves before anything was going to change. King believed the only way to end racial segregation was to Integrate, with whites and blacks going to school together, and living in peace together. Proof of this is in Kings “I have a Dream” speech.
King explained he had a dream where white children and black children would grow up together and live peacefully. Malcolm X believed in separation of the two races but wanted equality. He told the black community that the only way to be equal is to separate from the white race. Malcolm X made speeches saying how all blacks should go to Africa and start their own society. Both Malcolm X and King spread their messages through powerful, hard-hitting speeches. Nevertheless, their intentions were delivered in different styles and purposes.
As you can see Malcolm X and Martin Luther King JR both had very different views on conquering the laws, discrimination, and racial segregation that made it hard for blacks to live a comfortable life in the 60’s. Malcolm’s views came from his Islamic faith and poor upbringing, and Kings came from his Baptist faith and his more comfortable life style. Malcolm X and Martin Luther King are both remembered as leaders who fought for a difference in black America. Both tried to bring hope to blacks in the United States.
They also tried to instill within blacks power and strength so they could raise above all the hatred that surrounded them, but both of them had very different ways of promoting their message. Malcolm X had a much more extremist approach. Many say that this approach came from his neglectful childhood and early adulthood. King had a much more calm approach. Some have said that this non-violent approach came from his safe, middle class environment. Even though they were different in addressing their messages about black respect and pride, they both had the same goal in mind. That goal was to achieve equality between all races.