A Comparative and Contrasting Essay on 20th Century Black Political Leaders: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 256
  • Published : March 17, 2012
Open Document
Text Preview
A Comparative and Contrasting Essay on 20th Century Black Political Leaders: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. And Malcolm X

This essay will discuss Martin Luther King’s integration and assimilation in addition to Malcolm X’s separatism and Black Nationalism. Through Manning Marable’s assessment I will demonstrate that the ideological belief of Martin Luther King’s integration is a favourable representative of 20th century Black politics.

The Civil Rights Movement symbolized the challenge and opposition to the racial injustices and segregation which 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 significant time in the 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 for the black community. This essay will discuss Martin Luther King’s integration and assimilation in addition to Malcolm X’s separatism and Black Nationalism. Through Manning Marable’s assessment I will demonstrate that the ideological belief of Martin Luther King’s integration is a more favourable representation of 20th century Black politics.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X were two of the most prominent leaders and speakers during the heart of the Civil Rights Movement. Although both leaders possessed the same objectives, their outlooks and perspectives differed immensely. The main difference focused on their willingness to employ violence to achieve their end goals. While Dr. King suggested a civil disobedient approach, Malcolm X was a symbol of black radicalism, expressing his beliefs that the black community needed to rise up and organize. Malcolm X articulated his views on the necessary use of violence and retaliation in The Ballot or the Bullet.

In the process of challenging social injustice for the good of all who were both directly and indirectly discriminated against; Malcolm X delivered his speech in Cleveland Ohio, an election year that would go on to reflect throughout the years. Holding a firm stance called Black Nationalism, he discusses the movement’s philosophy on the economy of black communities, political trends in America, and social hierarchies. He presses the issue of the unjust circumstances surrounding the black race of America; oppression, neglect, exploitation and the undermining of political equality. Malcolm X pointed out the number of blacks that are called to fight a war for a nation that treats them unequally and deprives them of equal advantage and opportunity. . Malcolm X rejected the Civil Rights movement as he believed that non-violence would not take the movement far enough. While clearly stating that he was not proclaiming the stance of an anti-democrat nor was he an anti-republican, he was simply questioning the sincerity and strategy of those holding office in American politics; those making promises they did not intend to keep. Malcolm X called for the expansion of civil rights branching into human rights and the need for economic control in communities through re-education. Malcolm X believed that the black population should have ‘created a nation within a nation’ hence a geographical area for the black population to live and strive separately from the whites in America.

Malcolm X brought solutions for the unjust problems he set forth within the black population. One of the proposed solutions he set forth in the Ballot or the Bullet was, “those of us whose political and economic and social philosophy is black nationalism have become involved in the civil rights struggle, we intend to expand it to the level of human rights...you’re under Uncle Sam’s jurisdiction...You don’t take your case to the criminal. You take your criminal to...
tracking img