For decades, African Americans and other black communities have fought for racial equality in the USA. The most notable depiction of such resolves was evident during the 1960s Civil Rights Movement. America declared January 20 for the recognition of the works done by Rev. Martin Luther King in the fight for equality.
The movement’s success relied heavily on the strategies the leaders used to air their grievances. The leaders used non-violence or violent marches and protests to ensure their demands were met. Martin Luther King was against the use of violence, while Malcolm X considered violence the only solution to defeating the oppression against people of color.
Martin Luther King led millions of black communities to match in various American streets in peaceful protests and civil disobedience. The movement became known as America’s second civil war, which was successful because of its sting on the American economy.
Luther led the followers in testing the non-violent movement in Alabama and Birmingham, where people were murdered and homes and churches bombed. It was considered crucial to match in peaceful protest to prevent further killings of black people in such places. John Lewis was among the leaders that led the matches in Alabama in 1965 to protest inequality, in Selma.
Even though Luther and his fellow leaders protested peacefully, there were several instances where the police used armed horses and attack dogs to disperse students who joined the protests. Consequently, violence came from the oppressors instead of the protestors.
Malcolm X was an aggressive Civil Rights Movement leader who referred to the whites as “white devils.” His anger sparked from his conviction that white supremacists killed his father. His mother suffered from a mental breakdown following the death of her husband and without getting any justice from the government.
Malcolm X grew up with this hatred and desire to fight the white oppressors. His aggression grew more due to the street life he entered and the 10-year sentence when he was arrested. He immersed himself in the Nation of Islam (NOI) teachings, which deviated from the traditional Islamic beliefs regarding the fundamental of the religion.
The assassination of Martin Luther resulted in Malcolm’s resolve to continue with the violent protests, as it was clear to him that peace did not work. All these events and teachings made Malcolm consider that the best way to fight against oppression was to use violence and force.
Therefore, I believe that both points of view are mutually exclusive – Martin Luther King Jr. had a peaceful passion for overcoming adversity. Malcolm X had frustrated anger in his voice to overcome adversity and the death of MLK, which caused more rage in his discussions.
Eventually, they both resorted to the civil rights movement to fight the oppression the black people faced. This was the bioproduct of their resolve to end inequality against people of color in America in the 1960s.