why did some black activists reject the approach of Martin Luther King towards civil rights?
Two main black activist leaders of the early 1950’s were Martin Luther King andMalcolm X. Today, both of these men would be remembered as 'great leaders'.However, these two men had totally different approaches towards meeting the same main goal.
Both Martin Luther King and Malcolm X fought for civil rights; however Malcolm X also wanted to have a separate black society whereas Martin Luther "wanted the integration of white people with black people. Malcolm X believed that violence was the key to his goat whereas Martin Luther King chose to take the nonviolent approach This is one reason why some black activists rejected, the approach of Martin Luther King to civil rights. His non violent attitude led some black activists to conclude that Martin Luther king was too closely connected to white people
Also, despite Martin Luther King’s efforts, discrimination was still occurring. Black people were being discriminated against and being segregated on places like buses. On December 1st,1955, Rosa Parks(a black woman) refused to give her sat up to a white person on a bus. This resulted in her arrest, which caused an outrage in the black community, thus beginning the “bus boycott”. Martin Luther King led the boycott of city buses in Montgomery, Alabama, which led the bus company to stop segregated bus seats. Although Martin Luther King managed to put an end to this example of segregation, his efforts failed when attempting to stop other types of segregation and discrimination. Blacks were still being treated unfairly and being disregarded as members of communities nationwide.
This is a preview of the whole essay
Some black activists argued that the end of segregation of buses was one of the few successful and suitable Changes made for blacks, aided by Martin Luther King. Although buses were no longer segregated, the majority of restaurants and shops had 'whites only" signs in their window, indicating that black people were not allowed in these places. Protests and rebellions against these places were mostly unsuccessful and the protestors were usually arrested or beaten
After these groups of protestors received such acts of discrimination and violence, they began to question the effectiveness on Martin Luther King's non violent approach An example of a nonviolent protest that Martin Luther King led would be his peaceful demonstration in Birmingham, Alabama in April 1963, in which he was arrested and his supporters were attacked with fire hoses, tear gas, dogs and cattle prods. 3300 of the peaceful demonstrators were also arrested as a result of the demonstration. This made doubtful black activists even more reluctant towards accepting Martin Luther’s nonviolent ways and led them to believe that violence was the only way to obtain their goals, as the nonviolence approach had failed them.
Another demonstration led by Martin Luther King was The March on Washington’ which took place on 29' August 1963. Over 250,000 demonstrators attended The March on Washington, in attempt to gain civil rights for all. rights for all. During this demonstration, Martin Luther King made his famous “I have a dream" speech in which he expressed his dream that one day all races would he seen as equal. Although the “The March on Washington’ is considered to be one of Martin Luther King's most successful demonstration’s, judgment was not passed on this demonstration until after Martin Luther King's death. Black activists complained that Martin Luther King took more tune than sufficient action in achieving civil rights.
Even after several 'successful demonstrations, blacks were still being discriminated against and being attacked violent by racist groups such as "Ku Klux Klan”, a secret society whose aim was to make blacks inferior to whites. Although lynching was now taking place less frequently, there were still rare occasions in which they occurred, and to some black activists Martin Luther King was not doing enough to put a stop to this.
The majority of black activists that chose to reject the approach of Martin Luther King and chose to follow Malcolm x, a black Muslim who believed strongly in the separation of black and white people and taking the violent approach to achieve his goals. Along with many other black activists, Malcolm X chose to reject the approach of Martin Luther King, and Malcolm X went on to become most influential militant black leader of his time. Like others who chose to reject the approach of Martin Luther King, Malcolm X did not trust him and didn’t hesitate to persuade his followers to share his feelings towards Martin Luther King. Malcolm X was not secretive towards his feelings of Martin Luther King. When Martin Luther King won a Nobel peace prize, Malcolm X reacted by saying
“He got the peace prize, we got the problem. I don't want the white man to give me medals. If I’m following a general and he’s leading me into battle and the enemy tend to give him rewards, I’d get suspicious of him”
By criticising Martin Luther King, Malcolm X also proves that he sees the outcome of Martin Luther Kings efforts as below satisfactory. Malcolm X led many of his black activist followers to share his views of Martin Luther King.
Therefore, It can he seen that black activists and leaders chose to reject the approach of Martin Luther King to civil rights for numerous reasons.