MLK vs. Malcolm X

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In the year of 1957, nine brave young african african american students enrolled in an all white high school in Little Rock, Arkansas. One may wonder what is so courageous about this, because it is just a high school, but this was law. During this time of injustice, two brave leaders by the names of Martin Luther King Jr.

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and Malcolm X stood out. They both eventually wanted equal rights for blacks, however they had separate ideas on how to get there. Had the ideas of both King and Malcolm X been mixed in some way, the Civil RIghts Movement would have been more successful because each of them had great insights on different topics. Malcolm X’s thoughts and philosophy made sense because blacks had to lead a more independent lifestyle. However King’s ideas on schooling were vital to achieving this equality because people learn to coexist at a young age.

To begin with, King’s ideas about having integrated black and white schools made more sense than separate schools because white schools already had plenty of resources in their possession, and black schools had inadequate funding. In a writing by The Basic Unity Program, Malcolm X’s program, he goes on to explain his ideas about separate schooling. He stated We encourage Afro-Americans themselves to establish experimental institutes and educational workshops, liberation schools and child-care centers in Afro-American communities(Doc E). This idea of independence is a good one, however it is far oversimplified. In order to open a school money is needed to buy property, build the school, and get supplies. On top of that, employees and teachers are very necessary. None of this is impossible, but it is very difficult to accomplish, and makes this idea less convenient. Next, in a speech by King titled Our God is Marching On, King stated Let us march on segregated schools until every vestige of segregation and inferior education becomes a thing of the past and Negroes and whites study side by side in the socially healing context of the classroom(Doc D). King explained that side by side, eventually blacks and whites would forget their differences and learn to work together. Lastly, in a speech made by King titled The Purpose of Education, King explained the purpose and benefits of school. Towards the end when he summed it up by saying, The broad education will, therefore, transmit to one not only the accumulated knowledge of the race but also the accumulated experience of social living(The Purpose of Education). Here, King explained that integrated schooling not only gives the knowledge to all, but also that people will learn to work with somebody who may seem different than them. Overall, Martin Luther King had the better idea about education because he wanted blacks and whites in the same schools.

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