One Way or Another

King and X differ in Ideas! Who's side will you choose?

Lives of the Leading Men

Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929 and was a devout Baptist and humanitarian. At a young age he suffered from depression from the dealings of his father and ever growing race issue that affected his family. At first he blamed the whites for the problems going on in the world but then chose to believe that he himself was the problem. This belief caused him to attempt suicide by jumping out of a two story house. He also did not believe in the idea that Jesus was resurrected or in the Bible in general.
As he grew older his ideas changed massively. Religion became very important to him as he undertook the Baptist ideals and became a minister. He attended school and college and worked his way up to a PHD from Boston University. His view of the racial division motivated him to fight for the cause and he organized many events, through the main ideal of peace, in the name of ending segregation. King lead the SCLC.
Malcolm X, originally Malcolm Little, was born on May 19, 1925. He was born into a family of eight which included his mother, 6 siblings, and a father who was an outspoken member of the Black Nationalists. Malcolm moved many times as a child to avoid white supremacists who threatened his family due to his fathers connections. His house was burned down and his father was killed which caused his mother to go insane. He and his friend moved to Boston where he committed crimes and was arrested.
He went through school and grew on the Muslim religion, eventually adopting it. He grew connected to the NOI. Through this he changed his last name X of which grew in popularity from his ideas. However he later fell off from the religion and broke off from it entirely. After this he created his own religious organization which gained followers.

Jr. Only by Name

X Marks the spot... or does It?

One and the...not the same?

Martin Luther King Jr. had a very conservative approach to the civil rights movement. King believed that the true and best way to reach results was to go about the events with non-violence. His idea was that no matter how badly they were pushed around, the people would stand still and tall and never retaliate. The idea was to show that they were civil and deserving of being treated with respect. King was not trying to tell the white community that they were wrong or to humiliate them, but rather to say that they are friends who do not want to hurt them. Protests were organized and boycotts became massive through King's support. He believed these would surely help.

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
Malcolm X's method to the movement was to an extent very different than King's. X believed that the nation was not doing enough and was being cut off by King. He wanted the people to retaliate and show that they would no longer stand for the violence brought upon them. If someone attacked you, then you attack back. This was, as he believed, the only way that the issue can possibly change. "I am for violence if non-violence means we continue postponing a solution to the American black man's problem just to avoid violence."
The philosophies of both men only had minor similarities. Both men had a side for non-violence. King's idea was just larger than Malcolm who believed that it is good and useful until one is attacked. They were also very acquainted with religion and used it to motivate and communicate with people."They were fundamentally spiritual men," Pitney says. "While we remember them for their social and political activism, they were religious and spiritual at their core." "Yet near the end of his life, Malcolm X was becoming more like King -- and King was becoming more like him." "While Malcolm is moderating from his earlier position, King is becoming more militant," Pitney says.

Martin Luther King, Jr's, Last Sermon
Martin Luther King Jr Interview (Part 1 of 3)
Malcolm X on Front Page Challenge, 1965: CBC Archives