What Makes Malcom X Different

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Throughout history there have been people that have made an impact in history and change the way the human race thinks and comprehend things. During the late 1950’s and 1960’s, Malcolm X was one of those person. In order to understand Malcolm X vision, we have to clarify that Malcolm strongly believe that America was fundamentally bad and that the constitution wasn’t made for black people, that is one of the ideology that makes Martin Luther King and Malcolm X different.

Malcolm X was born in Omaha, Nebraska. Since little he was exposed to white racism and the black separatist movement. He was the son of a Baptist minister, named Earl Little. His father was a follower of Jamaican-born, black nationalist Marcus Garvey. When the Little’s family lived in Nebraska they suffered severe attacks from the KKK, they were preventing reverend little from conveying Garvey’s teaching. As a consequence of this the family moved to Mason, Michigan but the racial climate was not better there.

In 1929 a White Supremacy Organization named Black Legion attacked Little’s family house they burned and later murdered Malcolm X father. Malcolm X mother was placed in a mental institution and Malcolm and his sibling were sent to different foster homes.

Despite of all the traumas that Malcom X may have had, he was always an intellectual kid, obviously in school white teachers and classmates made him feel inferior and he ended up quitting school after grade eight. As a consequence of a school dropout, he started to be involved in the streets and made his leaving as a hustler and drug dealer. Malcolm X was sent to ten years in prison. There in prison was where he discovered and embraced the teaching of Elijah Muhammad of the Nation of Islam and called himself Malcolm X.

After Malcolm X get out of jail he was recognized among people, he attracted the attention of the black population thanks to his particular ideology on the Civil Right Movement. Malcolm X totally disagree with Martin Luther King ideas of nonviolence movement. He stablished “The day of nonviolent resistance is over”1. “Revolutions are never based upon love-your enemy, and pray- for- those- who- spitefully- use- you”2.

This words stablished a new totally different movement that completely differs from MLK. Malcolm X faced conflict and tension between himself and the leadership of the Nation of Islam after the day of president Kennedy assassination, he was told to not speak about the situation but Malcolm didn’t do so, in front of reporter he describes the assassination of Kennedy has not been surprise “the chickens coming home to roost”. Meaning that the same violence that was causing the dehumanization of African American people caused the death of Kennedy. After those declaration Muhammed suspended him, but Malcolm reacted by braking up with the Nation of Islam, he creates his own movement starting with the Muslim Mosque.

Malcolm X usually used the term of “White is Evil” and also criticize the Civil Right Movement agenda, he agrees that African Americans need to be protected by the constitution, but he believed that the purpose and focus of the Civil Right Movement was to secure the voting rights and the integration, and if African American accomplish that; it was because the white supremacy were being hypocrites. In one of he’s famous books he mentions “I’m not anti-Democrat, I’m not anti-Republican. I’m not anti-anything. I’m just questioning their sincerity, and some of the strategy that they’ve been using on our people by promising them promises that they don’t intent to keep”3. After that, the organization of Afro American Unity emerged, his organization was different because he was willing to work with any organization who wanted to help end all the madness.

Malcolm X, however similar the reasons behind his anxiety and irritation with the racial situation were to King’s, proposed a distinct means of protest and persuasion. He knew that with nonviolent protest the white supremacy was going to take advantage of them, that they need something more radical. Malcolm X was highly critical of the present approach to mending the racial injustices. He stated black people are “fed up with the dillydallying and pussy-footing, compromising approach we’ve been using toward getting our freedom”4. He felt that the present administration in Washington and the minority representatives and black constituencies were settling for what they had, and that was not good enough. Malcolm X did not expressly condone the unnecessary use of violence as a tool of resolution, but he did not speak out against its use. As Malcolm X so eloquently said, it was time for the “Ballot or the Bullet”. Malcolm X justified the use of violence by stating:

“If you don’t take an uncompromising stand, I don’t mean go out and get violent; but at the same time you should never be nonviolent unless you run into some nonviolence. I’m nonviolent with those who are nonviolent with me. But when you drop that violence on me, then you’ve made me go insane, and I’m not responsible for what I do. Any time you know you’re within the law, within your legal rights, within your moral rights, in accord with justice, then die for what you believe in.

But don’t die alone. Let you dying be reciprocal. This is what is meant by equality.” In other words, if you didn’t attempt against his life our community he wasn’t going to attempt against yours, but if you get to his neighborhood attacking his people he was going to defend himself with violence, and there is where Martin Luther King didn’t agree, King ideology pretend that people get beat up and stay like nothing happened, that is your like is at risk you still have to remain nonviolent.


Cite this paper

What Makes Malcom X Different. (2020, Sep 21). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/what-makes-malcom-x-different/



What did Malcolm X do different than Martin Luther King?
Malcolm X advocated for black nationalism and self-defense, while Martin Luther King Jr. advocated for nonviolent resistance and integration.
What made Malcolm X unique?
Malcolm X was a unique leader because of his ability to connect with people and his message of black empowerment.
What methods did Malcolm X use?
Malcolm X was a black nationalist and human rights activist. He is best known for his work with the Nation of Islam and his advocacy for black separatism and black pride.
Why did Malcolm X change his ways?
Malcolm X was an American Muslim minister and human rights activist. He was a fierce advocate for the rights of blacks, and was often critical of the mainstream civil rights movement for its failure to embrace radical change.
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