Martin Luther King and Malcolm X

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Introduction: This paper presents the contrasts in 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.
Outline: This paper proceeds in the following pattern: it traces the differences between the two leaders in relation to three vital areas: their early life, their political ideologies, and their legacies.


Secondly, apart from being contemporaries, they both lived an exactly identical life span -39 years. Then, the end came for both men in the same manner -the assassin's bullets. (Adams)
Early life: The two had extremely different circumstances of early life and upbringing. King was born into an average middle class, clerical family in Atlanta, Georgia. For him, piety was imbibed from birth, mainly because of the family he was born in. In his Autobiography of Religious Development, he has revealed that spirituality was a way of life for him, and it came quite naturally, stating: "It is quite easy for me to think of a God of love mainly because I grew up in a family where love was central and where lovely relationships were ever present." (Cone 19) Malcolm's upbringing could not have been more diametrically opposite: born in Nebraska four years earlier than King, he had an impoverished and turbulent childhood, was a typical product of the racial divide of the time, and had the misfortune of being cast into a violent, virulent early and adolescent life as a street thug. (Sales 31)
Political philosophy: The deep differences in their politi ...
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