These two are the most considerable men in the civil rights movement, and years later after their demise, America still celebrates them with their image constant in the American consciousness. As great men who share connections, their ideologies and zeal might be similar, however their character and motivation were driven and influenced of different forces. Everything has its contrast. Therefore, if Martin Luther King Jr., existed so did Malcolm X. History recalls Martin Luther King, and history tries to bury the reminiscence of Malcolm X. However, each man had his ground and dominated the era they existed.
Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. are regarded highly controversial African American leaders who yearned and demanded change by fighting for civil rights. Martin regarded himself not only a Christian leader but also a moral leader (Ramsees). Malcolm X was a Muslim nationalist who possessed so much drive and power to fight against racial injustices (Grimm 315). Each man gave up his life as a price for the freedom of his people. However, they both chose different paths and strategies to fight and achieve equality and sense of identity for their people in America.
According to Grimm (314), Atlanta, Georgia is the birthplace of Martin Luther King Jr.; he came from a middle-class family. Martin was raised under the leadership governed by Christianity and church influenced his early life. During his protests, Martin Luther involvement was influenced by Christianity, and this included his themes of justice. Martin’s education was a tool for him to realize his self-worth as a Christian leader and gain the confidence to engage in the fight racism in his African American society. Martin preached about justice, hope, and love and was a firm believer in agape love. Martin believed passive ways would ensure transformation for his people. Martin focused on democracy and sought goodness in human beings.
Additionally, Martin was well-educated and came from a well-off family that was well-known in Atlanta, Georgia. Therefore, it is evident that Martin had experienced the best life had to dish out especially being granted love by his parents. Martin was a brilliant and appreciated statesman who was eloquent in delivering potent speeches that instilled virtues of peace, love, freedom, and democracy (Grimm 314). Martin advocated for nonviolence his entire ministry, and despite being attacked physically, he never retaliated. Martin was a staunch Christian who adhered to its faith. King wanted all races to coexist peacefully and enjoy equal rights.
However, Malcolm X was from a different tree of life. Malcolm X grew in a disadvantaged society that has a hostile environment. Malcolm X barely attended any school; he was self-taught. Being a Muslim, Malcolm X adhered to Muslim teachings and believed in fighting physically for his rights. Malcolm X believed in any measures that would ensure the freedom of his people from racism and oppression, either violent or non-violent (Grimm 315). However, later after visiting Jerusalem, Malcolm transformed his perceptions and embraced peaceful techniques. Malcolm X felt that his people would start by self-respecting themselves before integrating with the white race (Aljazeera). Malcolm was against King’s dream and perceived it as a nightmare towards the fight against racism.
Malcolm X experienced hostile events that made him angry when he witnessed his mother house being burnt while his father was murdered. Malcolm was raised in a dysfunctional family that split after his mother suffered a mental breakdown. Judging from Malcolm X nurturing years, it is evident where his beliefs cropped. Malcolm X viewed the world painfully and bitterly. Malcolm’s perception of the world was tainted and grotesque and had the drive to gain revenge because of how the world had treated him.
Malcolm was perceived as an individual who had a Ph.D. mind because of how his reasoning was above those who had been through the education system. Malcolm X self-taught himself through studying the dictionary (Grimm 315). Malcolm focused on teaching and coaching the people of color on being proud of their origin because that was the only technique of decolonizing their mind (Mabelle). Malcolm transformed how people of color perceived themselves before the Cultural Revolution occurred, black people considered themselves Negroes, but after Malcolm X, they became proud people of color.
Despite the differences, King and Malcolm X fought for the liberation of their people. They became recognizable individuals whose dreams and sacrifices ensured equality among races. The civil rights knowledge guided their zeal and potent activism. Both of them were religious and spiritual individuals who integrated their beliefs in their civil rights war (Grimm 326). Both of Malcolm X and Martin King met their death at the age of thirty-nine, and their former supporters had left them. Both of them were honest men who refused any form of payment or profits for their activism. Malcolm X and Martin demanded black equality through their fight against racism and liberation (Aljazeera). Both of these men serve as a revolutionary consciousness not only for the American generation but also for the global generation. Malcolm X and Martin sacrificed their lives to shape the American dream for the people of color.
Aljazeera. “Malcolm X And Martin Luther King.” Aljazeera.Com, 2017, http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/face-to-face/2017/07/malcolm-martin-luther-king-170709072506322.html.
Grimm, Josh. “Hegemonic Framing of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr., in Northeastern Newspapers.” Howard Journal of Communications 26.3 (2015): 313-332.
Mabelle. “Differences Between Martin Luther King And Malcolm X | Difference Between.” Differencebetween.Net, 2011, http://www.differencebetween.net/miscellaneous/differences-between-martin-luther-king-and-malcolm-x/.
Ramsees. “MALCOLM X Vs. MARTIN LUTHER KING.” Blackstudies.Net, 2013, http://blackstudies.net/malcolm-x-vs-martin-luther-king-3/.