MLK, Malcolm X and African-American Politics Comparison Essay

MLK, Malcolm X and African-American Politics
Compares the lives, works and philosophies of Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) and Malcolm X (Malcolm Little) and their effect on the African-American political arena of the 1960's.
# 128368 | 1,595 words | 5 sources | APA | 2010 | GB

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This paper examines the backgrounds of Martin Luther King (MLK) and Malcolm X. (born Malcolm Little) and concludes that religion played a massive role in the inspiration and success of both men. Malcolm X turned to drugs, gambling and loose women until he ended up in prison where his life changed dramatically; whereas, the author points out, MLK's upbringing and early life were comparatively idyllic. The paper underscores the important difference between MLK's advocacy of non violence at any cost and Malcolm X's belief in self-defense and preservation of identity by "any means necessary".

From the Paper:

"After prison, Malcolm Little as a convert to the Nation of Islam had shed his slave name given to him by the 'White devils' and following the Nation of Islam's instructions replaced it with an 'X', to signify the loss and unknowing of his true tribal name of which he and his ancestors of the past 400 years had been robbed. Malcolm X worked hard as a spokesperson and minister for his new-found religion, and, similarly to MLK Jr., had discovered a talent for public speaking which combined with his passion and capacity for understanding led both men to have a great impact on all that heard them."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Carson, C. (Ed.). (1999) The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, JR. London: Abacus
  • Cone, J. H., (2001) Martin and Malcolm on Non-violence and Violence. [Electronic Version] Phylon (1960- ), 49(3-4), 173-183.
  • Haley, A. (1965) The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley by Malcolm X. New York: Grove Press
  • Harper, F.D., (1971) The Influence of Malcolm X on Black Militancy. [Electronic Version] Journal of Black Studies, 1(4), 387-402.
  • Verney, K. (2006) The debate on black civil rights in America. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Cite this Comparison Essay:

APA Format

MLK, Malcolm X and African-American Politics (2010, July 16) Retrieved December 08, 2023, from

MLA Format

"MLK, Malcolm X and African-American Politics" 16 July 2010. Web. 08 December. 2023. <>