Key people in American History: MLK and Malcolm X

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After the end of the Civil War and the era of the Reconstruction of the South, the Southern states of the United States were gradually able to legally restrict the rights of black people in what is known as Jim Crow laws. This is how the policy of racial segregation appeared: the white people distanced themselves from blacks in all aspects of daily life. As a result, African Americans had their own schools, shops, cafes, railroad cars, and even places in public transport. Even the ability to vote was limited: the right to elect and be elected was closely tied to educational and property qualifications. Of course, such social pressure could not but provoke protests that grew as the standard of living and education of black people increased. The most famous and influential leaders of 1960s were Martin Luther King the face of the Civil rights movement – who was a fighter for the rights of blacks in US history and Malcolm X a human rights activist and an American Muslim minister, who became a self-dedicated defender of African-Americans. Both Martin and Malcolm were deeply spiritual men and religious leaders; however, they belonged to different religious communities. The contribution to the course of history and the methodology of both speakers are going to be introduced in this essay.

To start with, Martin Luther King led to many civil disobedience struggles as well as served as a strategist, theorist and symbol maker for the numerous movements. During the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on the 28th of August 1963, Martin Luther King delivered a speech I have a dream to the civil rights marchers around the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. He decided to tell his speech there to remind about Abraham Lincoln’s proclamation which freed slaves in the Southern states. One of the Martin Luther King’s main aims was to inspire people and create a world where everyone would be equal. In this speech, Martin Luther King said: I have a dream that white and black children would one day walk hand in hand and that one day sons of former slaves and sons of former slaveowners would be able to agree to live together . He was not afraid of expressing his point of view about the better future that he wished to see, and the most important that it is possible to make his dream come true. Another strong example is a quote “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed – we hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.” Similar to the previous quote he supports an idea by telling about the progress of the U.S. nation and by referencing to the equality of all humanity.

Another dramatic and influential figure was Malcolm X, who defended the rights of African Americans.

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