Black Nationalism’s advocates not only fought for the liberation of people of color, but also for their empowerment. Some of the courageous persons who made a significant effort to guarantee that black people were treated with respect are Marcus Garvey and Malcolm X. They interacted with Africans in a variety of ways by traveling there. This paper’s main goal is to shed some important light on the parallels and discrepancies between the Black Nationalists mentioned above. It will also talk about the contributions that each person made to the Pan-African Movement. Some characteristics have to be exhibited by the person taking up the risk to fight for the rights of the black people. The aspects are common to all the nationalists that have existed. Therefore, Malcolm X and Marcus Garvey also exhibited similar features. Among them are the bravery, eloquence, wisdom and patience. For an individual to fight for the rights of others, he/she must have a very vital aspect of uniting those particular people. The individuals are referred to as the Black Nationalist due to their struggle to unite the community of the black people all over the world. They fight for the unity of all African origins. However, they tend to lean on the side of the African mistreatment by other races.
Both Marcus and Malcolm worked to ensure the unity of black people. Their several visits to the African continent and also, in other nations such as France and Britain proved their collective agenda. During their tours, they educated African people the usefulness of being united and working towards a common goal of self-development. An evidence of this is displayed in the contributions that they made to the Pan-African Movement (Peniel 107).
By working tirelessly, the Nationalists had strong beliefs that all people of the world had equal rights. Furthermore, to some extent, they all knew that the white people were brutal towards their black counterparts. In this context, the work and struggle required to achieve equality would be enormous. Pushing for the reforms as individuals would be impossible; hence, they opted for the formation of organisations that would assist them. For Malcolm X, he formed the Organization of Afro-American Unity, whereas Garvey founded Universal Negro Improvement Association.
The individual worked for hand in hand with other African reformists all over the world. After leaving the Nation of Islam, Malcolm announced that he was ready to work with other activists to ensure the primary goal is achieved. While on his tours, Marcus acknowledged other nationalists such as Henry McNeal Turner, emphasising on their works and teachings. Coming together on the side of the nationalists meant a significant step to achieving the sovereign goal of equality and respect to the black people (Sekayi 204).
Differences exhibited in the named Black Nationalists
Malcolm majorly insisted on empowering Black people. In his speech entitled ‘Ballot or Bullet,’ he urged Africans to vote for their voice to be heard. Furthermore, he added that if the right of the people would be denied, then the people should be ready to pick up arms and defend their rights. In a way, the power of the people would be obtained by the use of force. On the other hand, Marcus wanted the black people to embrace their race. In his preaching, he gave aspects that exalted Africans (Schramm 76). The primary implication was that It the first image that the whites had impacted in the minds of the people and meant to diminish their self-esteem was to be done away with. After self-awareness, the blacks could then work for their freedom and equality.
Secondly, Marcus drew his inspiration from other nationalist such as Booker T. and Martin Delany. He based his teachings on the issues that had been raised by the reformists. However, for Malcolm X, he found his essential point to be from the cohesion exhibited by the Islamic people all over the world. After touring Africa and Parts of Europe, X realised that Muslims had a good relationship, despite their skin colour. The Nationalist noted in one of his writings that all races of the world could be well connected if people would adopt Islam. Moreover, Marcus applied his knowledge in the psychology of confrontation to form a movement that would help him impact the minds and hearts of Africans to unite (Putnam 56). On the side of Malcolm, the groups he created were majorly founded on the teachings of Islam and also, worked to unite the souls of people of the world, especially Americans.
Based on their source of motivation and empowerment, the effects are felt in their campaigns later. Malcolm derived his teachings from the Nation of Islam and after his departure from the organisation; he started preaching contrary to some of their beliefs. That is to say; he created an additional enemy. Therefore, apart from fighting the whites, he had also to keep checking what the Islam community was thinking of him. Unlike the case of Mr X, Marcus had one agendum of working for the betterment of the blacks against the whites. All along his fight to liberate the society of the blacks, he ensured that he maintained the number of enemies. By doing so, the fight would be smooth and hence, manageable. Through the strategy, Mr Garvey’s organisation became the most successful firm ever in Black Nationalist up to date.
Impact on the pan-African Movement
On his visit to Africa, Malcolm attended the meetings prepared by other leaders of Pan-African Movement. He insisted on the aims of the movement in his speeches. His formation of the Organization of Afro-American Unity meant the establishment of the Pan African movement in the heart of America. The willing Americans would now take part in the activities of the action without necessarily moving to Africa. Also, Marcus attended most of the pan African movement meetings in Africa. He spent some time in Africa, moving from one country to another alongside the leaders of Pan African, spreading the message of the worthiness of African people (Adeleke 76). He gave them the courage to forge ahead towards their future that housed equality and mutual respect.
The events that took place during the periods of the two Black Nationalist had an impact on the view of the black people and the world. From the lifestyle of Malcolm X while touring the world, it is clear that the world can be united under one accord, should the people find the right motivation. Furthermore, the Nationalists brought international cohesion through their tours to educate people about the importance of cohesion. Marcus created the most robust movement that ever existed in the history of fighting for the blacks. In this regard, it is evident that the said individuals were transnational figures; hence, it is worth to remember them in history as an appreciation for their efforts.
Adeleke, Tunde. African Americans: Nineteenth-Century Black Nationalists and the Civilizing Mission. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2015. Print.
Peniel, E. Joseph. (ed.) The Black Power Movement: Rethinking the Civil Rights-Black Power Era. Abingdon: Routledge, 2013. Print.
Putnam, Lara. Radical Moves: Caribbean Migrants and the Politics of Race in the Jazz Age. Chapel Hill: UNC Press Books, 2013. Print.
Schramm, Katharina. African Homecoming: Pan-African Ideology and Contested Heritage. Abingdon: Routledge, 2016. Print.
Sekayi, Dia N. African American Intellectual-Activists: Legacies in the Struggle. Abingdon: Routledge, 2013. Print.