Gregory Boyd Jr.
October 8, 2013
Malcolm X & Martin Luther King Jr.
While Martin Luther King’s peaceful protests against narrow minded white supremacists helped him rise to national fame, Malcolm X, born Malcolm Little, lectured the United States about Islam and urged others to dismiss all whites as their enemies and arm themselves for war. Each discussed the same issues, but their methods of achievement and ideas about equal opportunity differed as much as night and day. Although both greatly influential civil rights activists, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. had some very significant differences in their backgrounds and methods of delivery in their messages of equality. The differences in their early life experiences and family years are largely to blame for their very dissimilar reactions to the racism in the United States. Raised in a middle class, comfortable, home and, as his Nobel Prize biography states, the second of three children, King dwelled in an education-stressed environment. Martin Luther graduated high school at 15 as valedictorian, then attended college and received a Bachelor of Divinity degree. He promptly went back to school and received a Doctorate of Ph. D as well. After all this education, at age 24, King moved to Montgomery, Alabama, to become a Pastor at the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church (“Nobel Peace Prize”). Conversely, Malcolm X was born into a very poor and deprived home, which is affirmed by his official website. Malcolm had nine brothers and sisters, three brothers having died violently at the hands of white men. The Ku Klux Klan lynched Malcolm’s uncle and killed his father before he was six years old. Soon after these family member deaths, Malcolm’s mother had a nervous breakdown and was sent to a mental institution. Malcolm X then spent the rest of his childhood in foster care. He was a very dedicated, intelligent young man with an “A” average until a middle school teacher ruined...
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