In 1865, the American Civil War was over after 4 years of disagreement between the states. There were a lot of subjects the states in America did not agree on, amongst them a particular question was debated fiercely; should abolish the slavery or not? The discussion went on, comparing the pros and cons. Still, it seemed that they could not find a solution, and it ended up splitting the country into two parts; the Confederates and the Union. After a lot of discussion, slavery was finally abolished and the slaves were set free.
The slaves, now called African Americans, were left on their own. After being in the white people’s hands for so long, they now had to adapt to the new world and figure out things on their own. The African Americans had held on to their old traditions for years, and now that they were free, they got the chance to do what they were used to. This was easier said than done, and the white people did not make it easy.
In the following years, the relationship between African Americans and the white people was far from peaceful. The white people did not want to have anything to do with the blacks, and several organizations and groups like the Klu Klux Klan were established. A racial segregation policy was made, which lead to things being separated between the races. Buses were split into sections; black people were not allowed entrance into several cafes; black and white people went to separate schools, etc. After a while, people started to get tired of it and the pressure to end the racial segregation grew amongst the African Americans. Something had to be done, but who was going to be the first to speak out and do something about it?
The topics that are going to be brought up and compared in this article is how the two movement leaders managed to reach their goal, both in their own different ways. I will start by presenting the beginning of the two movements, and then go deeper into each of them, presenting the leaders and their movements. Further on I will compare them to each other, and conclude at the end.
The beginning of the two movements
In 1909, African Americans and the whites had established the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People. This became a big organization in the cause of Civil rights, but it was not until after World War 2 that the movement really began. In the mid 1900s, a group of African American activists gathered together and tried to do something about the racial problem. Amongst them were Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, the two men that later became leaders of the most important movements during the fight for equal rights.
Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement
Martin Luther King Jr. was a young priest and doctor who later became the head leader of the Civil Rights Movement. Education was highly valued in his family. Already at the age of 15, he was very eager to participate in the fight for equal rights. The summer before he started his college life, he spent his time on a tobacco farm, and it was from this experience he developed his hatred toward the racial segregation. After graduating in 1948, he spent his following years studying Mahatma Gandhi's philosophy of non-violence.
The following year, a group of activists gathered together to start a boycott against bus segregation as a reaction provoked by the incident of Rosa Parks. She was arrested on a bus in Montgomery for violating the segregation laws, when she refused to give up her seat for the white people boarding. Her case moved Luther King so much that he later became the leader of both the segregation case, and the Civil Rights movement. Methods
As mentioned before, Martin Luther King had been studying the philosophy of Gandhi and was inspired by his way of making changes. For him the whole fight was about improving the situation of Blacks in America, using non-violent methods. Throughout his time of leading the Civil Rights Movement,...