For all African Americans, both Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X had a common goal: justice, peace and equality. Demonstrated in their speeches like, 'I Have a Dream' by Martin Luther King Jr and 'Talk to Young African Americans' by Malcolm X, both did not share their strategies or theories. But of course, so many people were supported by both men. Some people think that MLK and Malcolm X wanted the same thing for African Americans, or they were similar to each other. and of course, they had things in common, like they had the same goal, values and focus. but they actually were different in their views, backgrounds, and regions.
Both Malcolm X and MLK had different backgrounds. King came with minister fathers from activist families, facing racism their whole lives. Martin Luther King had the advantage of a powerful social network, a loving home, and a friendly environment, though. His early resentment for whites diminished as he got older and even with them, he had a more positive experience. King was able to use several opportunities for education to develop his tremendous gifts, changing him into the Martin Luther King that we all know. However, Malcolm X went through a lot of things when he was young, he basically grew up without parents, his father was killed by racists, his mother was treated unfairly by the state and institutionalized, and he was rebounded in foster homes. Regarding his deep knowledge, he was prevented by any white authoritative figure in his life from aspiring to become anything and learned that he would have to be disarming and seem simple minded in order to move forward in life. Having spent time in Harlem, he became actively engaged in the criminal world and he was thrown into prison, where he had been self-educated and later, he converted to Islam, to become the Malcolm X we are learned about.
Both Dr.King and Malcolm X came from different geographic regions. King lived in the South he also worked there, where African Americans were disadvantaged by the law socially and politically. While Malcolm X lived in the north and also worked there, in which Black people’s social subjugation occurred through indirect means of social power in an integrated society. However, this influenced their reactions and goals to racism in the United States. Martin Luther King and Malcolm X obviously practiced different religions, King was Christian, and he had a PhD in systematic theology highly trained in the studies of theology. Malcolm X was Muslim and informally trained, but he was still a highly educated minister, first with the Nation of Islam and after that striving separately to become closer to Sunni as he learned about it all over the world. This wasn't just a conceptual difference, but their philosophies and methods were actually different.
Both people were aiming at different things, King initially wanted to eliminate the barriers to Black rights and incorporate the Southern society as a path forward for race peace and harmony, but his subsequent ups and downs with whites prompted him to change his attention to wider equality issues such as anti-poverty. Malcolm first viewed the white society to be hopelessly corrupt and also to be isolated from their punishment awaiting, and Black people to learn to appreciate themselves independently, but eventually evolved their role to regard the white society as controlled by morally wrong values that should be exterminated from the Black society in order to gain their rights from either a power position or moral authority.
They had the same goal and focus, they needed the integrity and equality of Blacks to be remembered and valued, but that's to be done. Both of them were mass leaders and they focused on Black people's daily struggles and used political movements to accomplish their goals. They were profoundly religious and spiritual, they focused on the human rights globally, poverty, police violence and brutality, white supremacy, and capitalism, they had the same radical, perspective, and had the same humbleness in the face of violent threats, and they also had the same similar leadership styles. During their careers, both politicians profoundly changed their views, expanding their reach as they expanded their access to different ways of doing things.
Both of them were incredibly open to different thoughts they have had in their lives. However, most importantly, as time passed by, they all began to drift forward towards the style of thinking from one another. Both of them respected their people and loved them, Malcolm X did not see segregation and integration as a good idea, Malcolm basically wanted Black people to be sufficient and willing to challenge and defend themselves when they were threatened by racists, King thought that the approach Malcolm X considered wasn't a very strong one he came to see clearly at the end that segregation might not be all it had been actually supposed to be either.