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Martin Luther King and Malcolm X - Essay Example

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Martin Luther King and Malcolm X

Political philosophy: The deep differences in their political philosophy are an example of the extent to which their formative years impacted their adult life: King drew inspiration from the champion nonpareil of nonviolence, Mahatma Gandhi, who, without so much as lifting his little finger, had brought the behemoth of British imperialism crumbling down. Apart from an unswerving commitment in theory and practice to nonviolence, both Gandhi and King drew from the core ideals of their respective religions. If the Mahatma embodied the tolerance and spiritual expansiveness of Hinduism in all its depth, King was the practitioner of the quintessential Christian virtues of inclusiveness, compassion, and forgiveness. (Lischer 53) On the other hand, Malcolm despised the religion he was born into, frequently abused and cursed the Book of God, deserted Christianity, (Malcolm X) and was vehemently committed to the policy of racial exclusiveness and separatism. His beliefs were based on the ‘eye for an eye’ doctrine. (Adams) Legacy: Another area that characterized the sharp difference between the two related to their legacies. If King was to leave behind a legacy as a champion of nonviolence, a principle to which he swore till the end, the finest culmination of which was the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, a year after winning the Time’s ‘Man of the Year’ award, (Cone 86) Malcolm left behind a legacy that was totally dissimilar to King’s, and was as tormented as his life and principles. ...Show more

Summary

The author of this essay "Martin Luther King and Malcolm X" provides the contrasts of the personalities and achievements of the two heavyweights of the African-American liberation movement in the America of the 1960’s, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X.

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