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Malcolm X Vs Martin Luther King Jr.

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Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X are two figures in our nation's history that left a profound impact on the matter of civil rights, not only for African Americans, but all minorities alike. These two leaders were deeply passionate about the same cause of minority rights, but approached their cause in different ways which appealed to and provoked response from two diverse crowds. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X compare to and contrast each other in several ways such as their overall approach to civil rights, their leadership roles in their different religious communities, and how their response from society ultimately lead to both of their assassinations and solidified their place in history.

Their overall approach to civil rights is perhaps the most striking difference between these two figures. Martin Luther King Jr. adopted the idea of nonviolent protest from Mahatma Gandhi, putting this concept into action among his followers. Following his famous "I Have a Dream" speech, King received the Noble Peace Prize on the basis of his consistent dedication to African American rights and the numerous nonviolent protests he set in motion. Malcolm X had a differing approach to civil rights, denouncing Martin Luther King Jr.'s ideas as "the philosophy of a fool" (Cone, 1). Malcolm X supported an African American separatist view during the most notable time of his career. This was the sustaining view of the Nation of Islam, which most simply believed in the racial superiority of African Americans. Malcolm X was aggressive in his support which he expressed in his fiery speeches, heated debates, and urge of Blacks to fight back by "by any means necessary" ("Malcolm X", ).

The approaches and philosophies of both of these men were greatly influenced by their passion for their religions. Although both men had Baptist fathers, they explored different views which ultimately lead to the formation of their different fundamental beliefs. Martin Luther King Jr. was trained at the Crozer Theological Seminary, in which he earned his Bacholer's degree, then continued on to earn his doctorate in theology at Boston University ("Martin Luther King Jr," ). MLK Jr. put his Christian ideals into action by his preaching as a pastor. He consistently empowered the Black church and influenced many to participate in nonviolent protest. Malcolm X, on the other hand, spent a great deal of his life invested in the Nation of Islam. This religion promoted separatism and superiority for African Americans. Malcolm X was spirited in his views, often preaching to fellow prisoners, taking part in religious debates, and avidly worshipping the work of Elijah Muhammad. Malcolm X also became a pastor and preached



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