Martin Luther King Jr. was a "Leader"and Malcolm X was a "Extremist". When, viewing these two men lives, we can see the magnificent influence and impact they had on improving the quality of humanity. Malcolm X and Martin Luther King had a passion for speaking what was on their minds, no matter if it went against the grain of a racist society. Malcolm X was four years older than Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm also started his advocacy two years prior to Martin. However, both men arrived at the same pivotal moment in time, which sculpted African Americans lives forever.
Malcolm X was born Malcolm Little on May 19, 1925, he suffered from a devastating childhood which lead to his father being brutally murdered by the Ku Klux Klan. Earl Little, Malcolm's father, was a Baptist minister who fought for the equality of justice on behalf of the colored people. Malcolm admired his father for being a well known civil rights activist and for being a pillar to his family and community. Unfortunately, in 1929, Malcolm's strong family structure was jilted when members of a white supremacist organization called Black Legion decided that the Little's household was not worth valuing. Louise Norton Little was destroyed by her husband's death and she was committed to a mental hospital. Malcolm and his seven siblings were forced to live with strangers in various foster homes. Malcolm managed to graduate from West Junior High School at the top of his class. However, Malcolm was deterred from achieving his high school diploma when his English Teacher told him that a ****** using his brain as a profession was unrealistic.
Martin luther King was born Michael King was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta Georgia. Michael King senior changed both their names to Martin in the 1930s. King Jr. and his sibling grew up in a financially secure middle class environment and their parents instilled in them the value of colored people getting an education. Martin King Sr. was a Baptist Preacher who enforced that racial discrimination was a strike against humanity. As a result, of Martin Luther's father being involved in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), he began to realize how unbalanced equal rights were. Although, as a child, Martin Jr. had a stable family foundation he still had to endure the harsh reality from the residue of slavery. Alberta Christine Williams , Martin Luther King's mom , was a strong black woman who graduated from Atlanta's Spelman College. She taught her children to hold their heads high above segregation, even though the odds were stacked against them. Martin Luther soared through High School , he received second place in a Oratory Contest. King eventually conquered his Bachelor of Art Degree in 1948 and his Doctorate Degree in 1955.
Malcolm X:or Malcolm Little had become one of Harlem's well known gangsters. After working various odd jobs, life took its toll on Malcolm and he began using cocaine as a stress reliever. While, roaming Harlem's streets , Malcolm chose gambling, earnings of prostitutes and burglary to pass his time away. However, living life in the fast lane finally caught up with Malcolm when he got convicted of burglary charges in 1946. Malcolm being sentence to 7 years, was a blessing in disguise because this is where his legacy began. In prison, Malcolm took it upon himself to recapture the education that he abandon due to racial discrimination. Malcolm X's journey was well on its way when he became acquitted with the teaching of Elijah Muhammad. Elijah Muhammad, the leader of the Nation of Islam, taught that white society actively worked to De-power African Americans on their road to gaining political, economic and social status. Hearing this message struck a nerve in Malcolm because this was the same method used by white people which destroyed his family dreams and ambitions. Malcolm remained faithful to the Nation of Islam and he even changed his last name to X denouncing his slave name.
Furthermore, Malcolm X was released from prison in 1952. Elijah Muhammad crowned Malcolm X a minister and spokesperson for his religious organization. Malcolm gained popularity as a powerful symbol and within one year, he converted 30,000 people to the Nation of Islam. However, a bitter ethical dispute occurred between Malcolm X and Elijah, which caused Malcolm to breach out own his own. March, of 1964, Malcolm started his quest for freedom and justice which lead him on a pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Malcolm experienced a spiritual connection with his fellow brothers, who had blond hair and blue eyes. Having this experience, gave Malcolm a new light on who the true enemy was. Malcolm decided to talk to all races about the racial injustice of mankind. Malcolm was very successful with his movement and he touched the lives of many. Unfortunately, on April 14, 1965, Malcolm was assassinated while speaking at a gathering of his followers.