Amidst the dark clouds, clouds that rose far away destroying the clear sky of this country over the course of decades, rose two significant figures.
They were the fighters, the leaders, the teachers; they were the generals who led their forces of justice and equality against the numbering and thundering dark clouds; their men stood together, side by side, and fought courageously to win the war against the darkness of racism. These men, however, belonged to two forces; one was led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the other, a much aggressive one, by Malcolm X.
While being unquestionably different, they were alike; they both fought for the same goal, but on different battlegrounds. Martin Luther King and Malcolm (Little) X were both students, and bright ones at that! They, amongst the conflicts that the society presented, managed rather peculiarly to keep their minds open; that is, to say, they amassed copious amounts of knowledge about the life in this world. They composed their own philosophies and believed them to be true. They were superlatively the most committed believers of their theories.
They both felt compelled to end the racism that the world offered towards the African-American society. For that reason, they set out with one common goal: to abolish this racism forever. As mentioned above, they both share some similarities and copious dissimilarities. Throughout their lives, Martin Luther King and Malcolm X were role models in the continuous battle against racism.
They both gave powerful speeches on racism; however their intentions were delivered with different styles and purposes.King had a more positive and idealistic approach compared to Malcolm X’s more pessimistic views. King was hopeful in believing that someday, blacks would achieve full equality with whites. Non-violent demonstrations and arguments were King’s techniques in reaching equality.
Malcolm X, on the other hand, viewed non-violence and integration as a way of the “whites keeping the blacks in their places”. Malcolm X showed more fury towards white racism and encouraged more protest against white racists than King did.Although Malcolm X is more of an extremist, both men ultimately wanted respect for one’s culture and history. King’s positive attitude towards the future of racism in our country made him a different, and in many ways, a better activist.
Malcolm X’s rough childhood and past experiences shaped his pessimistic views. Because King was more idealistic, he gave a greater hope to the blacks. Malcolm X’s more realistic speeches and views were seen as pessimistic; promoting separatism and no hope for blacks and whites ever reaching equality.Malcolm X’s arguments were more of a negative reminder of the inequality blacks faced; while King brought about ideas for a hopeful future.
Malcolm X’s realization of the reality, that his beliefs, as he incorporated them from Elijah Mohammad – a key figure of African American Muslim society called the Nation of Islam, which organized many events against the Caucasian race and secretly employed illegal tactics to promote the idea that blacks should separate from whites – were incorrect. After taking a pilgrimage to Mecca, a holy city for Muslims, he learned that Islam teaches racial equality, and not inequality.King, on the contrary, remained with his starting belief: King believed that blacks and whites are equal, and that one day, this will be shown to the world. Dr.
King, indeed, never had to change his beliefs. Malcolm X’s often angry tone fueled the white racists. King was a bigger promoter of non-violence, which gave the whites less to criticize. Malcolm was an easier target for the whites because of his anger.
His anger also triggered more hatred amongst the black community. It may have been more effective for Malcolm X to deliver his ideas in a way more similar to King’s.Nevertheless, both Malcolm X and Martin Luther King were two of the most influential men of our history’s past. They both had an ultimate goal of bringing hope to the blacks in our country; however they presented this goal with different ideas.
King’s more positive approach did a better job of giving hope to blacks. Without King’s idealism, the African American dream for the future may have never been recognized. He gave the community a strong voice and a future to look forward to. Malcolm X’s views were seen as ultimately leading to a separatist nation; which was less inspiring for the blacks.
Ultimately, indeed, he changed his views and fought to present his views differently towards the end of his career. Where it is a painful fact that hostile bullets took these key figures away from us, the newer generation, it didn’t take their teachings away. The above explanation clearly shows that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
and Malcolm X were alike, yet very different; the evidence presented clearly shows that they fought for one goal – to abolish racism against African American. They will never be forgotten.