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Examine the beliefs of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. Comment on the differences between them.

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Introduction

Examine the beliefs of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. Comment on the differences between them. By April 1968, two of the worlds most remembered civil rights leaders, who fought for a difference in black America, had been assassinated. Despite their different beliefs and their different ways of promoting this message, they both had the same goal in mind; to promote black respect and pride. The visionary and angry voices of Martin Luther King Jr., and Malcolm X together transformed theological thinking in the African-American community. Martin Luther King Jr. believed that all blacks and whites should be treated equally as it was written in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. In his most renowned speech, 'I Have a Dream', King proclaimed that the constitution '...was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the "unalienable Rights" of "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness"'. He said that America could not be exact to this vision and to the very basis of the origin of the country until this basic right applied to all, equally and to carry out the promise and the dream of genuine democracy. In the search to complete this he committed himself to the dignity of all human beings, even to those who considered themselves to be against him, one of his enemies, he believed ...read more.

Middle

Also, King's belief of non-violence and loving your enemy was the absolute opposite to the other mighty leader who was assassinated, Malcolm X. X along with his pressure group, the Black Power Movement believed that blacks and whites should be segregated and that this could only be achieved by force as white people refused to listen, he also believed that the white man was the devil and that they were trying to indoctrinate all non-whites into slavery. He believed that after "...400 years of masterful brainwashing by the slave master, we picture 'our God' with the same blond hair, pale skin and cold blue eyes of our murderous slave master. His Christian religion teaches us that black is a curse, thus we accept the slave master's religion and find ourselves loving and respecting everything and everyone except black and can picture God as being anything else except black."7 Before his pressure group came about, Malcolm X belonged to the Nation of Islam, who also believed in the segregation of blacks and whites, they even, wanted to establish a separate Afro-American homeland in the United States. The Nation of Islam also known as the Black Muslim Movement is a spiritual and political black separatist movement. The Nation of Islam has a somewhat shaky connection to conventional Islam, and many Muslims do not consider it to be truly Islamic. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, despite their major differences both men had similar elements within their campaign. Both X and King spread their message through powerful, hard-hitting speeches, they both promoted self-knowledge and respect for one's history and culture as the basis for unity. Even both men believed that if blacks were to attain freedom they first needed to achieve self-respect. X and King are both remembered as leaders who fought for a difference in black America. Both tried to bring hope to blacks in the United States. They also tried to inspire within blacks, power and strength so they could rise above all the hatred that surrounded them, even though they had very different ways of endorsing their message, they both had the same goal in mind. 1 Colossians 3.11 2 Andre Brink, "Writing in a State of Siege", Summit Books 1983 3 Matthew 5.9 4 Luke 23.34 5 Henry David Thoreau, "Civil Disobedience" 1846 6 Martin Luther King, Jr "Stride towards Freedom" 1958 7 Malcolm X, "God's Angry Men," Los Angeles Herald Dispatch 1 August 1957 8 Martin Luther King, Jr "Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community" 1967 9 Matthew 5:38-39 10 Malcolm X, Malcolm X Speaks, 1965 11 James H Cone, "Martin & Malcolm & America: A Dream or A Nightmare" 1991 ?? ?? ?? ?? R.S. Coursework Camilla Parsons Word count: 2190 ...read more.

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