The struggles of the black community back in the day will be lost on society today. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcom X were both influential African Americans who had a single goal: to help their rights. The two most revered political activists from the American Civil Rights Movement, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr., are still remembered many years after their deaths. The civil rights movement was a struggle to achieve social justice. It was mostly in the period between 1950s and 1960s when blacks were able to obtain equal rights under American law. This paper will examine the similarities and differences between Martin Luther King Jr., and Malcom X. It will also explain to readers how these two civil rights leaders tried to improve the status of black Americans in America, with different ideas and methods.

Martin Luther King Jr. was born January 15, 1929 in Atlanta. He was the son of a middle-class family. He was an educated man who believed in the Christian faith and was against violence throughout his ministry. His non-violent approach to civil rights was peaceful protesting and advocating passive resistance, non-violence, and “weapons for love”. Martin Luther King Jr. believes that nonviolence is the solution to the most important moral and political questions of our times, the need to end oppression and violence. For all human conflicts, man must develop a way that rejects aggression, revenge and retaliation. Love is the foundation of such a method.” His most famous achievement was the March From Washington to Lincoln Memorial, which took place in Washington D.C. on 28 August 1963. This event saw him become a major influence on the civil rights movement, with over 20,000 people marching on. Dr. King believed that integration would lead to self-respect.

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Malcom X, however, was born May 19, 1925 in Omaha. He grew up in a poor environment with little schooling. He was a Muslim, and believed in Muslim principles. While he was with the Nation of Islam, he became a leader and spokesperson and gained international recognition. Malcolm believed that the nonviolent message was not moving forward and encouraged his followers to fight back, even if it meant using violence. Malcolm X stated, “We declare that we have the right to be a man on this Earth and to be a person, to be treated as a human being and to be granted the rights of a citizen of this society on this Earth in this day. Which we intend to bring into being by all means necessary.” Malcolm was more focused on a segregationist approach to segregating races, rather than peaceful protest.

Both civil rights activists had a common goal. There was no waiting. Malcom X and Dr. King knew that racism was the most serious problem. They had millions of supporters. The independent, strong leaders held their own religious beliefs. Malcolm X was also older than Martin Luther King Jr. and both were assassinated simultaneously. Malcolm was 39 years old when Nation of Islam members shot him to death as he delivered his speech at the Audubon Ballroom, Manhattan. King was also 39 when James Earl Ray shot King on April 4, 1968. King was visiting Memphis to support striking African American sanitation workers. While Malcom X and Martin Luther King Jr. may have had different views on nonviolence they shared a lot in common.

These men were a significant influence on civil rights movements, and they are remembered as heroes. Today, King and X’s voices can still be heard in society. They have an impact on individuals and allow them to achieve equality. Because of their struggle for freedom, they gained justice and equality.