Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X were the stars, so to speak, of Civil Rights protesting. They are the most famous, and are still heard of frequently throughout History text books and magazine articles. Though they died a while back, their legacy still lives on, to live in a world free of segregation, but they each had different ways of “getting what they want”, and some ways of getting what they want led to the bad memories that people rather not speak about.
Martin was a peaceful man, his father was a southern Baptist preacher; and he as a young boy decided that was where his path was leading as well. While being a preacher he decided he wanted to be a civil rights leader, which began his journey as a well known leader. His way of protesting was subtle yet effective. Martin’s long speeches often caught wandering people, and drew them into the crowd. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, and is the youngest person ever to receive it. He was assassinated on April 4th, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee; which led to many riots by the African American community.
Malcolm X was, well, a lot different. As Martin was remembered by everyone happily, most people tried to forget Malcolm. After being sent to prison for drug use he was converted to Islam and prior to that was pro segregation. But after his pilgrimage to Mecca decided that he wanted to be treated equally. Malcolm was known for his boldness, he is often tagged with the quote “To do whatever it takes.” Meaning that he would do whatever it took to be considered equal. This usually led to less peaceful acts of protesting, plus he was more interested in spreading “black pride”. He was assassinated by members of the Black Muslim movement on February 21, 1965.
Both Martin and Malcolm were considered great leaders by people. They each just had a different way of expressing their opinions. And while some people liked a more practical approach; others liked to be peaceful, because there was a lesser chance of guns going off. I have come to realization that even though they are two very different people, they were both aiming for the same thing, they wanted to be free of segregation. So they used whatever power they had to make a voice for themselves, though sometimes Malcolm’s way of “protesting” was more of a brawl that people tried to stay away from (except for the black activists). Their speeches and rallies often led to protests, speeches, and eventually the assassinations of both men.
It’s hard to say what they would feel if they were alive today, but I think one thing would be pride. Not pride because they are American, but pride because they had such an impact on black history, well history in general. They are both remembered, each for different reasons. But even though their opinions and ideas were expressed in dissimilar ways, Martin Luther King Jr. got his voice on constant reply in people’s heads; and Malcolm X was feared and respected by people to be the man who was a “black activist”. And each had their role in black and white history, even though their stories aren’t black and white at all.