Persistence and Perseverance of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King

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Persistence is “the quality that allows someone to continue doing something even though it is difficult or opposed by other people”. Throughout history, the African American community has dealt with a great deal of persistence to gain what they need. “A Homemade Education” by Malcolm X and “Letter from Birmingham Jail” by Martin Luther King Jr. embody the persistence both Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr had. Both men showed persistence by rebelling against inequality and racial injustice within their society. They did this through patience...calling out social segregation...

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Malcolm X and Martin Luther King showed persistence through the patience they had when attempting to achieve their goals. Under multiple occasions, King’s nonviolent protests were postponed, “through postponement after postponement to need...[he] felt that direct action could be delayed no longer” (King 2). King knew that “justice too long delayed is justice denied” (King 2), he had witnessed enough of the inequality that African Americans faced: “vicious mobs lynchs,... twenty million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage of poverty…, explaining to your six-year-old daughter why she cannot go to the public amusement park.. and see tears welling up in her little eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children” (King 2). Malcolm X showed patience while he taught himself how to read and write. Malcolm recalls copying words from the dictionary in his “slow, painstaking, ragged handwriting...down to the punctuation marks” (Malcolm X 2). His patience later helped him persist in his readings, where he utilized the glow from the corridor light to continue his reading after lights out. Both Malcolm X and Martin Luther King were patient when waiting for change to happen, however after not seeing how unfairly they were being treated, they urged African Americans to no longer wait but fight for their equality.

Martin Luther King and Malcolm X show perseverance when they call out whites for the social segregation they take part in. King states “I have watched white churches stand on the sidelines and merely mouth pious irrelevancies and sanctimonious trivialities” (King 5). He expresses his disappointment in white churches and how they’ve turned a blind eye to the injustices that African Americans are facing. Arguing that they aren’t following the bible’s morals, where it says that all are equals. One the other hand, after gaining more knowledge on African American history Malcolm X grows a hatred towards, he states that “the [world’s] most monstrous crime, the sin, and blood on the white man’s hands, are almost impossible to believe” (Malcolm X 6). Later arguing that they’re the devil and deserved to be punished for the oppression they’ve caused minorities to face.

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Persistence and Perseverance of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King. (2022, Jun 09). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 26, 2024, from
“Persistence and Perseverance of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King.” Edubirdie, 09 Jun. 2022,
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