Malcolm X was born in Omoha, his father, Earl Little, fought for unity of the black community. The family was often harassed by white racists because pastor Litlle preached for a unity of the black community. This is where X’s dedication to the black community came from. When Malcolm turned 18 he had to join the army where he stole weapons and tried to get fellow black sufferers together. After this he starts committing burglaries, this went well until he got arrested. He was convicted for burglary at the age of 20 and had to go to jail for at least 10 years. While sitting out his sentence he wanted to develop himself, which he did successfully.
He read the entire prison library. In prison he met someone who was a member of the Nation of the Islam and X was very interested in this and decided to join. The Black Muslim movement violently rejected white Americans and their Christian values. The movement preached supremacy of blacks over whites.
Martin Luther King was born in Atlanta, he was the son of a minister and grew up in a normal middle class neighbourhood. King was appointed as a minister at the Baptist church in Montgomery. Even though he grew up far away from discrimination, his mother taught him things about it. He demanded equality for the blacks and whites. In the 50’s he was already an active member of the Civil Rights movement.
When a black woman refused to give up her seat for a white man she got arrested. This was one of the first cases where people finally realised that something had to change. King decided to set a boycott with a number of other black pastors and ministers; it was called the Montgomery boycott. Reaching this point, Kings life was brought into danger more and more, he got threatened and his house even got bombed. King still did not stop the boycott and in 1956 the segregation of the busses finally came to an end.
King and X were both civil right leaders but their biggest difference was their approach of how they handled things. This became mostly because of how they grew up or what their background was when they were younger and how their household was when they grew up. As earlier mentioned already King grew up in a middle class family and was well educated, X grew up in a less privileged environment with almost no schooling and had a criminal past. They were both really religious, King followed the Christian faith and X was Muslim, but they just had different ideologies of how equal rights should be accomplished.
King really stood out since he would always react nonviolent; if he would get attacked physically he would react without any violence in opposite with Malcolm X whom sometimes dared to react with violence. Kind would never react with violence because he wanted all the races to come together and wanted violence to be put to halt.
The famous March on Washington portrayed the different views of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. The march to Washington (March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom) was a demonstration held in 1963 in Washington D.C. to stand up for the rights of African American citizens. After the march, Martin Luther King gave his ‘I have a dream’ speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial, this speech made him famous worldwide and is considered as King’s greatest accomplishment. Malcolm X thought that the black and white would get destroyed by integration. He thought that the black first should get the same self-respect as the white get.
Martin Luther had a quote: “An unjust law is no law at all.” There is a just law and an unjust law, a man-made law that states with the law of God or moral law is a just law. A code that is out of order with the moral law is seen as an unjust law. In different words an unjust law is a human law, any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. Since segregation damages the personality and the soul all segregation statuses are seen as unjust law. If you would break an unjust law you must do it lovingly and with willingness to accept your penalty. If someone is able to break a law openly they show that they respect the law.
A famous quote from Malcolm X is “By any means necessary.” X used this in his speech at the Organization of Afro-American Unity. Basically it means that you just leave all the ends open so you can use whatever tactic you need to get to your desired end, sometimes this might include violence. An important hereby is, is that if violence is not necessary then it should not be used.
Malcolm’s approach had two parts: the first one was him fighting with the Nation of the Islam and the second part was starting his own party: Muslim Mosque. This is his own party he established after leaving the Nation of the Muslim. During his pilgrimage to Mecca X was forced to reject the racism that used to characterize his view of white people. After a while he started the Organization for African American Unity. Whites were not allowed to participate but their donations were still more than welcome. This made Malcom’s approach easier. He chose to continue giving speeches but now with a different purpose: equality.