Differences Between Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Junior

Topics: Nonviolence, Malcolm X, Civil disobedience Pages: 2 (710 words) Published: April 1, 2012
Ever since the beginning of African slavery in America there has been debate over whether slavery is moral or immoral. Beginning in 1896 black rights leaders began to appear in the U.S. Two of the most influential and famous advocators of black rights were Martin Luther King Junior and Malcolm X. Although their goal of equality between all races is the same their approaches to achieving this goal are different. The main differences between the two leaders are that King achieved his goal through peaceful and moving speeches about equality, while Malcolm was a destroyer of those who were of the superior white race.

The main differences in their approaches to discrimination can stem from their different childhoods. King was from a prominent family in the area of Atlanta who had grown up with excellent schooling. King skipped two grades and went to an Ivy League school at the age of 15 and received the finest education throughout his life. Malcolm grew up with no schooling and was virtually unknown before he began to travel around advocating black rights. Malcolm also suffered through tragedies in his life that scarred. Malcolm’s father abused his mother and she abused her eight children. Then Malcolm’s father was murdered and his mother suffered a breakdown and, as a result, his family was forced to be split up. Their approaches to discrimination were grounded on their childhood which results in the great differences between them. Malcolm had a bitter desire to get back at the world that he felt he had been mistreated by. Luther grew up in a peaceful, loving environment and this showed through his non-violent protest movements. Beyond their childhood their viewpoints were also influenced by their religions. Martin was a Baptist reverend who reached out to people while he was at his church. His beliefs were in the social gospel. However, King also practiced "personalism." Personalism is defined as the theological concept that emphasizes the personal nature of God...
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