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Why did some black activists reject the approach of Martin Luther King to Civil Rights

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Civil Rights in the USA 22.02.05 2. Why did some black activists reject the approach of Martin Luther King to Civil Rights? Some black activists rejected the approach of Martin Luther King in his struggle to gain full citizenship rights for black Americans; this was mainly because they followed the ideas of another black leader who called himself Malcolm X. Martin Luther King, a black Christian, gained a lot of success through his belief that the only way to achieve civil rights and equality was by non violent and peaceful forms of protest. He encouraged a variety of activities, including protest marches, boycotts, demonstrations, and refusal to abide by segregation laws. In 1955, Montgomery, a 42 year old black woman Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white person on the bus. What had followed an arrest and fine had soon resulted in a buss boycott. Martin Luther King had led the boycott; it turned out to be an immediate success, despite the threats and violence by white people. A federal court ordered Montgomery's buses desegregated in November 1956, and the boycott ended in triumph. ...read more.


There was serious violence and racial discrimination in the North, law was not being enforced as the government was in White hands. Northern blacks were very poor, 50% of blacks lived in high unemployment, health care was inadequate and public transport was poor. The blacks were not aware of all of King's achievements in the South. It became clear that race problems in the Northern cities were serious and perhaps harder to address than segregation in the South because these problems were not the results of specific laws that could be changed. King was helpless with these problems and so some black people in the north did not support King. While King was trying to deal with the problems in the North, younger activists challenged his leadership of the civil rights movement, criticizing his strategy and his appeals to moral idealism; they no longer believed in King's approach. Soon the group which called themselves 'Black Power' emerged, influenced by Malcolm X, a Black Muslim. Some black people opposed King, they looked to Malcolm X. The Black Power movement which was led by Malcolm X believed that equality would only be achieved by violence. ...read more.


The biggest disparity however, was in their philosophy, although Malcolm X had contrasting ideals to King, he did not oppose King but did not like his methods. Malcolm always preached violence and aggression towards the whites, he even stated 'Any Negro who teaches Negroes to turn the other check in the face of attack is disarming that Negro of his God-given right..., of his intelligent right to defend himself'. It is clear that he was targeting King. In conclusion, although Martin Luther King achieved changes in the law to give black people equality and civil rights, for many blacks nothing had changed. King was quite helpless with improving social and economical problems which Malcolm X was more aware about. To many blacks, especially the young majority, Malcolm X's methods and aims were much more appealing. Black activists could trust Malcolm to always tell the truth as he saw it; he struck fear in Whites which made his supporters feel they were winning; he argued that blacks should have their own government and control over their own communities, for the first time black people felt they could impose authority over their oppressors; Malcolm X became famous as a black leader and his supporters would appreciate his emphasis on black pride and self-assertion. ?? ?? ?? ?? Page 1 of 2 ...read more.

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