Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X are two of the most well-known advocates for black equality that the country has ever seen. The two fought for equality at a time when black Americans were treated with no respect or dignity and had little to no rights at all.
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While the two men were massive proponents for the Civil Rights Movement and the Black Power Movement, each movement differed in it ways to achieve equality. Martin Luther King Jr. preached nonviolence while Malcolm X stood for the exact opposite he wanted black Americans to stand up for themselves. While both men stood by different ideologies both had a huge impact in the fight for equality.
Martin Luther King Jr began his leadership at a young age of 25 years old, when he led the Montgomery bus boycott. the Montgomery movement emphasized nonviolence as a guiding credo of moral courage (Franklin & Higginbotham 2011, pg. 514). King and his activists at Montgomery formed the new civil rights movement which looked to end segregation and seek racial harmony. The organization drew inspiration from black culture and religious faith with the church becoming a focal point to help strengthen and empower them in order to prevail over their oppressors. The Civil Rights Movement was centered around King’s ideology of nonviolence in the hopes it would win over the rest of America. Martin Luther King however did not start by believing in nonviolence as his ideologies grew over time. King at the age of five began his early resentment of whites when the father of his white friend told young Martin that his son could no longer play with him because he was colored (Cone 2001). In his early years he was taught to hate whites at church and at home. His philosophies began to change with better influences of religion, personal experiences, and education. Dr. King attended graduate school in which he met liberal whites as teachers and fellow students; he also encountered progressive theological and philosophical ideas that reinforced his beliefs about justice and love, integration and the beloved community (Cone 2001). None of these influences were as strong though as the faith of his parents and of his black church. What made King such a great leader and what helped start the Civil Rights Movement was that his personal experiences and journeys though life all accumulated to his ideology of nonviolence. He began as someone who disliked the whites but grew to accept them and realize we could live in peace, that’s what allowed King to be such a great impactful leader. More individuals could get behind King because his message was inclusive. He spoke always of love, without boundary of race, class, or nation. His audience, from wherever it came,
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