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Whose Philosophy Made the Most Sense for America in the 1960’s?

The Civil Rights Movement began shortly after the end of World War II. Some might even say that it began before that. The United States took the biggest turn on to the civil road with the Supreme Court’s decision in the Brown vs. the Board of Education case. This decision sparked a revolution that would forever change America. Once this movement began, it didn’t stop, there was no turning back and Martin Luther King Jr. realized this while Malcolm X didn’t. He preached a change that they African Americans would force but only through nonviolence. Martin Luther King’s philosophy made more sense for America in the 1960s because it pushed America forward, it stopped bloodshed through nonviolence and love, and it called to make everyone equal and together.

Although Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X seem to have mutual respect and warmth, as shown in the picture of their only meeting, their philosophies were quite different from each other (Document A). Malcolm X made it clear that he believed that the African Americans and the White people should remain separate but should be considered equal to each other. He told white people “work in conjunction with us-each of us working among our own kind”.(Document C). Martin Luther King Jr., on the other hand, continuously preached equality and desegregation. He wanted White people and African Americans to work together. He said in his famous speech, “we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to climb up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day”. (Document B). It is evident that Malcolm X was only trying to push America backwards. By the 1960’s, Negroes were already enrolled in White schools and he was encouraging blacks to establish all black institutes and educational workshops (Document E). Martin Luther King’s philosophy was perfect at the time because it was pushing America forward more into desegregation.

Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X had opposite views when it came down to how they wanted to fight the Civil Rights Movement. King took the nonviolent path while Malcolm X led his way down the violent path. King believed that Blacks shouldn’t cooperate with evil and marching and boycotting was their nonviolent arsenal (Document F). He believed that violence increased hate and that it was a spiral that leads to nowhere, it solves no problems (Document J). He even considered violence but then said, “in the event of a violent revolution. We would be sorely outnumbered… American Negro has no alternative to nonviolence”. (Document L). Martin Luther King Jr. firmly believed in the power of love over hate. He knew that the blacks could endure all of the pain and the suffering that whites inflicted on them and that the whites would soon grow tired of their capacity to suffer. He believed that they could appeal to the hearts of the white people (Document H) which was exactly what was good for the nation at that time, peace.

Malcolm X believed the exact opposite of Martin Luther King Jr. He wanted the Negroes to fight back. He wanted the White people to suffer the way that the Black people did. He believed that the white people only had one language, blood and brutality and the only way to get them to listen was to talk to them in their own language (Document I). Malcolm X wasn’t really afraid of what the white people might do to him. He preached against nonviolence but agreed that they needed peace. He wanted to retaliate against the white people who cause damage to them. He said that he believes that the Blacks should protect themselves by any means necessary when they are attacked by racists (Document K). This would only increase the bloodshed and casualties on both sides, which was bad for the growing nation in the 1960’s.While both of these men preached equality, one preached a unity, while the other preached a separate race equality. Malcolm X believed that boycotting and marching wouldn’t help equality. He believed that Blacks needed to stop spending money in White communities and start to spend money in their own communities to that they could build up their own economy (Document G). Martin Luther King wanted a unity with the White people. He wanted them to be together and equal, brother and sister, a family. He wanted segregation and education especially to be their past so that their future could burn bright (Document D). This view was good and healthy. A vision that America needed in the 1960’s rather than blood and bodies everywhere.

Malcolm X believed that the cause they were fighting for never got solved. The problem that they were trying to mend, never got fixed because people would always look down on Negroes and make an example of them (Document M). However, the problem did get solved and it worked out quite well. Things in the 1960’s were bad and that makes it clear that Martin Luther King’s philosophies made the most sense to use for America in 1960’s

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