Malcolm X is evoked as one of the greatest and influential African American figures, at the same time degraded for the violence he provoked as well as his black supremacy teachings. Martin Luther King, Jr., on the other hand, is recognized as the greatest influential character in the black Civil Rights Movement, with teachings of non-violent resistance and equal rights for blacks and whites. After spending several years in prison, Malcolm converted to the Muslim religion and utilized newspaper columns, radio, and television to convey the Nation of Islam's (NOI) message. King strived to gain credentials from his audiences by everything from his tone to quoting biblical figures. Malcolm X was not able to influence the black community as well as Martin Luther King, Jr. Due to their differences in childhood and religion, their philosophies differed, causing supporters to accord more with the statements of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Born Malcolm Little on May 19, 1925 in Omaha, Nebraska, to Earl Little, a Baptist minister; and to Louise Norton Little, a housewife busy with the family's eight children. Earl Little was a supported of Marcus Garvey, the founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA). This prompted the Little family with death threats and by age four, Malcolm's Lansing, Michigan home was burned to the ground. Two years later, Earl Little was murdered by a white mob. Louise trying to keep the family in order, suffered an emotional breakdown and was committed to a mental institution. The family's eight children were split up amongst orphanages and foster homes. The breakup of Malcolm's family, beginning with their home burning by whites, planted seeds of bitterness and revenge in Malcolm's mind. King, was born to a middle class African American family in Atlanta, Georgia. His father was also a minister, which led Martin to follow in his footsteps years later. He attended a local black high until graduating at age fifteen, when he...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document