• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5
  6. 6
    6
  7. 7
    7
  8. 8
    8
  9. 9
    9
  10. 10
    10

Martin and Malcolm: Two Voices for Justice

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Martin and Malcolm: Two Voices for Justice America in the mid-twentieth century was turbulent with civil unrest among the black community. In the face of white oppression it tested the limits of democracy to achieve the rights entitled to all under the Constitution. Rising to the forefront of this struggle for civil rights were two men, whose leadership and passion distinguished them as the two major black voices of the time. These men are Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. Although each was fighting for the cause of freedom, their means for achieving it differed significantly. However, as the civil rights movement gained momentum each developed an appreciation for the other's work. The circumstances surrounding Martin and Malcolm's upbringings contrasted greatly. Martin was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia into a middle-class family.1 As the son of a prominent Atlanta Baptist minister, Martin was instilled with the ideals of justice, love, obedience, and hope. Through the church he was taught that the integrationist values of protest, accommodation, self-help, and optimism were the best means through which to cause change.2 Along with religion, education played an important role in Martin's development. At the early age of fifteen he was accepted to Morehouse College, where he earned a degree in sociology, and went on to pursue a divinity degree at Crozer Seminary in Pennsylvania, and a Ph.D. ...read more.

Middle

He viewed integration as blacks begging whites to become part of their institutions, and said, "No one respects or appreciates a beggar." To Malcolm, there could be no unity based on equality between blacks and whites until there was first unity within the black community. 22 Dominating both Martin's dream of America and Malcolm's nightmare of America were two distinctive religious traditions in the black community. One was Christianity, which blacks reshaped in light of their struggle for dignity in American society. The other was Islam, which blacks also redefined to express their hostility towards the white oppressors of American society.23 Martin based his idea of the American dream on the assumption that America was a Christian nation, which had failed to fulfill its religious identity as the Kingdom of God, as well as its moral vision of freedom and justice. As a Black Muslim, Malcolm based part of his idea of the American nightmare on the myth of Yacob, which claimed that "an evil black scientist created the evil white race six thousand years ago because they were destined to rule the world for that period of time." He believed that America was doomed because "the God of justice" would destroy it for its sins.24 Linking the two denominations of Martin and Malcolm was faith, which had been created in the black struggle for dignity. ...read more.

Conclusion

In private, among close friends, Martin reportedly said, "I just saw Malcolm on television. I can't deny it. When he starts talking about all that's been done to us, I get a twinge of hate, of identification with him."36 Equally significant was Martin's adoption of such phrases as "blackness" and "domestic colonialism," words coined by Malcolm. Martin even concluded that "temporary segregation" was probably the only way to overcome powerlessness in the black community. Also, Martin began to admit, like Malcolm, that there were only a small number of whites that were genuinely committed to equality. Due to their profound respect and effect on each other, James Baldwin claimed that "by the time each met his death, there was practically no difference between them."37 Although Martin and Malcolm complemented each other, they also corrected each other. Martin still challenged Malcolm's abusive and vindictive language against whites, and believed that his philosophy of self-defense was foolish. Likewise, Malcolm remained militant and challenged Martin's idea of nonviolence.38 Realistically, a genuine coalition between the two men could never have existed because of their loyalty to self-defense and nonviolence, both of which were derived from their different religious faiths. Neither was willing to compromise on these issues.39 Together, Martin and Malcolm lifted the black community out from the pits of depravity and shame. They each symbolized a necessary component in the civil rights movement. The legacies they left behind continue to inspire those in the struggle for racial justice. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE USA 1941-80 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE USA 1941-80 essays

  1. Political Philosophy of Dr. Martin Luther King and Malcolm X - a comparison.

    On February 21 in 1965, Malcolm X was shot down by three men connected with the Nation of Islam. This happened right before he was to accuse the United States at the United Nations on the charges of denial of human rights and genocide against African-Americans.

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

    Martin Luther King said that if one peacefully cooperated with an evil and unjust system, such cooperation would make the oppressed as evil as the oppressor. King recognised the fact that non-violence would take time as it would take time for the people of America to change their views on

  1. Martin Luther King Jr.

    Gates could of failed miserably and all of us in the world would not have had the privilege of using his products (Microsoft). Gates took a vast amount of risk to get his products recognised in order to receive grants and financial backing for the development of Microsoft, he could

  2. Choose any TWO stories you have read in Gullick's "Adventures and Encounters" and write ...

    this is the projection of a uniquely Western problematic onto the rituals of a non-Western people... colonized peoples are systematically represented in terms of negation and absence - absence of order, of limits, of light, of spirit (96). It was this Western problem too that the French artillery officer that

  1. "Religion's are notorious for promoting Racial Segregation". Discuss with reference to one specific historical ...

    This all enhanced the importance of the church minister, the church and Christianity itself, especially in the opposition, not promotion of racial segregation. The most prominent clergyman in the civil rights movement was Martin Luther King Jr. Martin Luther King travelled America making speeches and inspiring people to become involved in the civil rights movements.

  2. Malcolm X and Martin Luther King: Compared and Contrasted.

    Further evidence that Earl Little's death affected Malcolm is seen in September 1943 when the US army found Malcolm "mentally disqualified for military service" (Source 1), because of psychopathic personality inadequacies, sexual perversion, psychiatric rejection, and he was classified 4F meaning unfit for duty.

  1. The Nationalist Option And Its Consequences on the Movement Towards Equality.

    The destiney of the race was the redemption of Africa from its white colonial rulers (p. 63). Garvey came to the United States in 1916 and the following year established a branch of UNIA in New York. By 1919 he had over one million followers in the United States (Gaines, 1996, p.

  2. British journalist Peter Martin addresses the issue of globalization in his article entitled The ...

    By this he means that history has been the main reason and teaching mechanism that has made globalization necessary and extremely profitable. Martin also agrees with Wolf's standpoint, but in a more moral way. While acknowledging the economic upside to globalization he talks more about the moral side.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work