A Comparison in Activists Approaches: Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X

While Martin Luther Kings preached non-violent ways for the black people to achieve justice, Malcolm X believed in “you hit me and I will hit you back twice as hard” as the means for the black America to be liberated.

The differences in the means they used to fight for black America liberation may have been engraved by the big difference in their upbringing. Malcolm was brought up in poverty and in foster homes after his father was killed and his mother became mentally ill which led to her being institutionalized in a mental asylum. On the other hand, Luther was brought up by loving parents who made sure that he had received good education in a comfortable and loving environment (Martin Luther King Research Institute, 2010).

Luther based his philosophy from Mahatma Gandhi’s non-violent revolutionary methods and combined this with the Christian belief in love for all humankind which would release every one including the whites of their hatred. Luther believed in equality for all people from all races. He advocated for non-violent demonstrations petitioning for the white people to search their souls and be more just (Carson, 13). Luther believed in integration of both black and white people.

Malcolm, on the other hand, encouraged his supporters to protest against white racism and had believed in nationalist and segregationist systems and only through revolutionist and aggressiveness would the black Americans would be liberated. He believed that this would be achieved even if it meant being violent, though only as a basis of self-defense. He believed that nonviolent means to be a trick by the whites to infiltrate the civil movement (Carson, 15). Malcolm believed that Christianity was a white man’s religion used to brainwash the black man’s mind, the reason why he advocated for the Islamic faith. Until his visit to Mecca, Malcolm had believed in the liberation of the black people regardless whatever means were to be used to liberate black America. The visit to Mecca changed his views as he realized the evil in racism, no matter which the instigator is, and started leaning towards non-violence means.

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