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

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

Extracts from this document...


Political Philosophy of Dr. Martin Luther King and Malcolm X - a comparison Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X were both fighting for the civil rights of the African American people. Both men were born as sons of black baptist preachers in the southern states of America in the 1920s, and were early confronted with racism, violence and segregation. Both men climbed up to be the most popular and disputed leaders of the Black Society in the 1950s and 60s. By different methods Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X achieved great progress in the American society. Both men did never deviate from their beliefs or compromised them. They repre-sented the incarnation of integrity. Martin Luther King and Malcolm X gave their lives by trying to fight against the wrong and standing up against injustice. They battled for the rights of black people, to be acknowledged and treated like human beings and not like second-class citizens. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X were human rights leaders. The major difference between these two men was, that King followed the way of non-violence, like his ideal Mahatma Ghandi did in India, to break the walls of oppression. Malcolm X had chosen the radical way. He wanted to gain "freedom - by any means necessary." (Breitman, George, ed. Malcolm X Speaks, p. 135-136). Malcolm didn�t want to talk about the problems the afroamerican had with the white society. He wanted an immediate change for the black people of America with all means. ...read more.


They were fighting for their rights and freedom, but seeing little in exchange for their efforts. They claimed for a more radical leader who would be able to understand them. The most influential and charismatic leader of the black underclass and youth was Malcolm X. Malcolm was born as Malcolm Little on May 19th, 1925 to Georgia Baptist minister James Earl Little and M. Louise Little. Like Martin Luther King, Malcolm was influenced by his father who followed the teachings of Marcus Garvey. His father James believed in black nationalism and pride. He was murdered by the Black Legion, a part of the Ku Klux Klan(KKK), when Malcolm was six years old. He struggled to exist as an African-American in an Anglo-Saxon society. When his mother Louise was sent to a mental asylum, her children became foster children. Malcolm was the only black student at Mason Junior High. The turning point in his life occurred when an English teacher told him to strive to be a carpenter rather than a lawyer, because of his skin colour. He left school, after finishing grade eight, to live with his sister Ella Mae Little Collins in Boston. After doing some odd jobs in Boston Malcolm went to Harlem, where he learned to survive in the ghetto as a hustler. On the street he was known as 'Detroit Red' due to his redly hair colour . He became dependent on drugs, got into trouble with other hustlers and returned to Boston to organize a burglary ring. ...read more.


Dr. King grew up in a middle-class family, went to university and was well educated. He encouraged nonviolence and supported passive resistance. Malcolm was comming from the ghetto demanding justice for African-Americans. For both men religion was the center of their lives. Their turning points shaped their futures, Dr. King�s being the Montgomery Bus Boycott and Malcolm X�s being the finding of the Nation of Islam(NoI). Actually, they met once at the United State's Senate debate on the Civil Rights Bill on March 26, 1964. Towards the end, they moved closer. Both men criticized each other, but also highly respected one another. Martin Luther King and Malcolm X fought againt second-class citizenship, inhumanity and preached to vote and joining organizations. They were willing in ending poverty and discrimination. King and Malcolm established international links and organisations all over the world. Malcolm's famous slogan "by any means necessary" represented achieving his dream of freedom at any cost even death. Both were fighting with enthusiasm and a new hope for a better society and world. King dreamed of a society of peace, justice, freedom and equality. They became Ideals for African-American youth and achieved much with their efforts. Today, they are admired as martyrs of equality, who might have been able to do more if they hadn't been killed so early. They both represented equally good human rights leaders. One method did not work better than the other. Their two ways worked for the people who followed them. They introduced self-pride representatives of the African-American population. Dr. King and Malcolm X died trying to improve the conditions of living in their country in accordance with the American constitution. ...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. What impact did Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam have on the civil ...

    burned to death by mobs of White vigilantes, frequently in front of thousands of spectators, many of whom would take pieces of the dead person's body as souvenirs to help remember the spectacular event"4. The philosophy of the Nation of Islam exposed the atrocities that Caucasians had committed against African-Americans

  2. Martin Luther King Jr.

    self-confidence and control these were two of the most important elements of King's personality. King also demonstrated a realistic outlook; he knew that there was a constant need to know the status of things. He was idealistic, honest and acted with straightforward abruptness and he expected others around him to act the same.

  1. Discuss the different methods used by Malcolm X and Martin Luther king Jr in ...

    The two men where fantastic speakers, and had many great speeches, the most famous being Martin Luther King's 'I have a dream' speech. Malcolm X's speeches were more for the black people in ghettos. He had a great response from them, because he knew what they were going through and how they felt.

  2. What Did Martin Luther King Do To Improve the Lives of Black People in ...

    Again Martin Luther was a very important character as it was his idea to 'sit-in' but I think that the black students were most important as they actually followed through the ideas. Some Black and White people went on freedom rides, they would travel around the country in specially organized

  1. Gandhi and Martin Luther King

    It took twenty-four days and by the time they had got there, thousands had joined the march. When they got there they prayed throughout the night for the strength to resist the violence, which could easily have swept the crowd.

  2. Analysing three Contrasting Speeches: Martin Luther King, "I have a dream"Bill Clinton, "This has ...

    about my private life, questions no American citizen would ever want to answer." After this he bluntly states why he is making this speech, many people's opinions differ, "I must take responsibility for all my actions, both public and private. And that is why I am speaking to you tonight."

  1. Describe the different methods used by Malcolm X and Martin Luther King in campaign ...

    The overall aim he looked for was to completely integrate the black and white community which he tried to do through the means of peaceful protest. Organising events at Washington and Birmingham, King tried to get the sympathy of the northern white middle class Americans which he saw as the

  2. Why is President John F Kennedy such a famous and controversial figure in history?

    It also expresses how people felt towards him, not just in America but across the Atlantic. 5. Source M states that Kennedy "was an exceptional man...this man was a great success for the United Sates". Using the sources, explain whether or not you agree with this interpretation of his Presidency.

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