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Was Martin Luther King Jr. a better civil rights leader than Malcolm X?

  • Is this even questionable?

    I did a survey in my college, asking this very question. Along with other related questions, I asked "who do you think impacted America more and changed it for the better? " - 57.14% said MLK, 3.57% said Malcolm X and 39.29% "I don't know". Apart from the obvious observation of not enough of black history is being taught in English schools, I saw that a massive 67.86% of people said that agree with MLK's way of doing things too (including peaceful protests and passionate speeches.)

    Malcolm X was undoubtedly an incredible leader for the black people of America and he achieved massive change, impacting America for the better. But part of his achievements SHOULD be focused on how much of him is being taught in schools today and who actually knows about him? If he was better than MLK surely he would be more heard of? Who HASNT heard of MLK? When asked "on a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you know about Malcolm X?(10 being a lot and 1 being never heard of him). 8.14% of people knew a lot about him and 24.42% of people had never heard of him. This, compared to the same question but this time referring to MLK, 0.00% of people had never heard of him and 15.29% knew a lot about him. More needs to be taught about them both, as these are embarrassing statistics, but in fairness, the question needs to be asked, why have so many people never heard about Malcolm X?

    All in all, Malcolm was an outstanding representative of black civil rights, but MLK out shone him, achieving more and impacting America forever.

  • Mlk a born leader!!

    Now despite Mlk having his flaws in ideologies he remained a more important stance in history simply because he was able to start the civil rights movement whilst using non violent methods. Now he may have taken a longer time to get points across but he was assassinated because he was found to be more influential and a threat to the whites.

  • Martin Luther King JR.

    Both had contrasting ideologies but king was clearly a better leader and did more for the black community. Malcolm X rose to prominence in the 1950's merely because of his political statements meanwhile king sought to improve the standard of lives through HISTORICALLY PROVEN and practical methods introducing the voting rights act/ civil rights act and so forth. He supported countless campaigns like the bus boycott which was mainly successful because of his work. Also individuals that say peaceful methods did nothing really need to research in depth because the extremism that Malcolm x advocated in practise experienced short lived success. Its also worth noting that Malcolm X did not take part in any of the violent methods he preached and would prevent them sometimes in complete contrast to king. Malcolm X also rejected integration so his beliefs were pretty much useless to black Americans who wanted to live normally with white people at the time.

  • Christianity and education was the key.

    The love of God instead of hate. Everything in the Bible is centered on love. If everyone truly followed and understood the Bible there won't be all this evil and crap in this world. Everyone is on the same level. No one is above another, even the sinful. It is never a war against people but evil.

    And the education part allowed King to foster relationships in higher places that ultimately led to real changes being done. His education also allowed him to see the power of education. Education was and still is a tool for freedom and success.

    In short, the attitude and way of life King preached was direct contrast to the stereotypes of Black people. Therefore, it showed how much a fallacy the beliefs of racists really was. It shamed the racists as the racists quickly became a minority as other Whites saw the White racists as fools.

  • Historically proven methods

    History has shown that the methods used by Martin Luther King are a more effective way of creating change. Non violent approaches prompt less radical reactions, help break down conservative viewpoints, and generally serve to shame your opposition into realizing that their point of view is not the correct one to have.

  • He was more composed

    MLK didn't use violence or aggresion Malcolm X did but both are marytrys because they both died for what they believed in but MLK is more influential even though they have an equally as tough backgroud. Also he had better and more excitable and insparational speeches where as Malcon X didn't. :)

  • Violence Kills, Non violence heals

    Although violence can solve it isn't right as Dr King said non violence is the most potent weapon. He is saying it is the most powerful and effective weapon it is, because non violence teaches but also shows love and equality for all races, black or white. MLK is an inspiration

  • Both were needed

    He managed to intimidate his opponents cleverly, and because black people were known beginning to look after and defend themselves, the government began to pass acts in the senate which would eventually lead to the position of black people in society increasing. So although people just mainly talk about MLK, we should also remember Malcolm x for what he did to help black people

  • They both are smart thinkers.

    They both want the same rights being free. Martin Luther King Jr. Was better because even though they both teamed up he knew that it would be better if we don't fight them.That we should fight against man the man who is causing us to be separate and not each other. Malcolm X on the other hand thought we should fight anyone who gets in our way or tries to stop us.I don't think that he was really think for them mind that he was speaking from his feelings of what was going on.That he didn't he was so busy want to still be separated that he wasn't trying to come together as a nation.

  • You can't fight fire with fire!

    If you fight fire with fire, you will get burned. Martin Luther King Jr. Was a better civil rights leader than Malcolm X because he was apart of the Peaceful Protest movement during the Civil Rights Movement. Much was accomplished by his peaceful protest and calm reaction to everything that was going on. This made him able to be heard and not ignore such as Malcolm X.

  • Malcolm X was a better leader than Martin Luther King Jr.

    Malcolm X was more articulate in explaining the condition of the Afro American in America, not only to whites but to people all around the world. He stood by his principles (unlike King who cheated on his wife) no matter how unpopular they may seem, and cared deeply for the black race.

  • Only white people think Martin Luther king Jr. Was a better leader

    Because Martin Luther King used harmony and passive ways to address his message while Malcolm X used violence because he thought it was necessary, it was better for the white people that black people use peaceful protest because that wouldn't have any pressure on them. Instead Malcolm X used violence to get his point across. By the way, the anti-Malcolm X answers will come from people who never heard any of his speeches and who sadly assume he was just some racist guy. He taught blacks that they could stand up tall and be men and women who are intelligent and self-sufficient.

  • Malcolm X was the Embodiment of the trials and hardships of the African American Race

    While martin Luther king undoubtedly represented some of the values and beliefs of the African American community(and was undeniably an effective leader), king was merely a "notice board" for his race. He brought many of the injustices that blacks suffered to the public's attention and while he did suffer some of the same racism, by and large, martin Luther king lived a comfortable and well-insulated life: he had a wholesome and supporting family and he attended prestigious schools and obtained a remarkable education--while this was in no way "bad" it clearly sets him apart from the down-trodden and unprivileged masses that he supposedly related to. Malcolm X on the other hand lucidly connects to his race, he underwent all of the difficulties that the everyday black person suffered through, and even spiraled down to the unfortunate life of crime that many young blacks of that era unwittingly found themselves forced into from a sheer lack of reasonable options and opportunities, like thousands of other black families Malcolm also witnessed his family fall apart at the hands of the Klan and society, and yet, he still managed to overcome these apparently insurmountable obstacles and better himself and then attempt to do the same for his race. In short, Malcolm x has endured every possible hardship that the average negro faced in his everyday life, therefore he understands and relates better than most civil rights leaders (and certainly more than King) to the underprivileged black masses and his life and past experiences practically represents the lives of most of his race. On a final note I've noticed that many people here argue the point that Malcolm x preached violence and hatred, this is wrong Malcolm x did not preach violence nor hatred-- he was vehemently against it, however he did believe that if you got hit then you hit back (i.E self defense); Malcolm X was just a proactive leader who believed in the advancement of his race FIRST regardless of whether he had white society's seal of approval and he simply felt that sending members of his race to get beaten and mangled on live television for whites to UNWILLINGLY acknowledge the black man was a waste of time and effort when blacks could simply withdraw from white society, unite and better themselves.

  • Malcolm X is The Best

    I think Malcolm X was better because he was developed in a totally different neighborhood. This is what lead him to be as violent as he is.
    White men killed his family leading to his hatred for whites. That is why my love for Malcolm X is still growing more and more

  • Malcom X is better.

    Malcom X isn't taught in detail at schools. I feel Malcom X puts it best when he said of Martin Luther King Jr: "He got the peace prize, we got the problem.... If I'm following a general, and he's leading me into a battle, and the enemy tends to give him rewards, or awards, I get suspicious of him. Especially if he gets a peace award before the war is over."

  • Change is not suppose to be comfortable.

    I'm a majority saying yes are white or did not read Malcolm X's autobiography. He clearly was not a violent man, just someone who wanted action to stand up against being oppressed for hundreds of years by white men. MLK was a great civil rights leader, but his sit ins and such brought about change very slowly. Malcolm X made much more progress for African Americans because he actually challenged the white man and went all over the world to profess his ideas for change. Growing up as white kid in a conservative state, Malcolm X is simply labeled as a "violent and crazy black muslim" leader in the 60's, but if you dig deeper you will find Malcolm X was a great individual who went through hard times. A true intellectual, he made his beliefs known but always checked the facts and was willing to change his ideals if the facts told him to change. We need a Malcolm X day...

  • This is why

    During the year of 1964, there were two men they can from different backgrounds. All though these men were opposed to each other methods, they were protesting for black equality. Malcolm X believes in the philosophy of Black Nationalism where as Martin Luther King Jr. Focused more on the strategy of nonviolence to reach his audience. I feel as though Malcolm X's philosophy was more persuasive with his methods of black nationalism compared to Martin Luther King Jr.. I feel this way because of the proof that he has to back up his method versus that of MLK Jr..


    Malcolm X has a few different ways of persuading his audience to fight with him. One of his ways is by traveling to many different places and spreading the significance of black nationalism. Each of the separate places, he found many similarities. He found the method in which he can express black nationalism by looking at the way these many places gained their independence '. This philosophy is a self-help philosophy. " They're not getting it by singing"We Shall Overcome." No, they're getting it through nationalism." Malcolm X states this quote during his speech " The Ballot or the Bullet" because it has a significance. It is proved that in Asia and in Africa fighting back is what got them independence. He also talks about Cassius Clay; he won the heavy-weight champion of the world. Of course he did not become the heavy-weight champion by 'singing but by swinging.' You can not simply sing upon freedom, It is not going to be that easy. You must swing upon freedom. I think people respond more to violence than nonviolence.


    MLK Jr. Did not have any evidence for his philosophy, nonviolent resistance. Nonviolent resistance is just simply civil disobedience. I also feel like the blacks were tired of "sit-ins." The sit-ins were just saying that 'Yeah I can sit here', but it showed nothing getting done for black equality. The whites were also tired of the sit-ins so they told the black that they would take down the racist signs in the store windows. "Victims of a broken promise. A few signs, briefly removed, returned; the others remained."The whites had already went back to there ways. The sit-ins might have work for a little while, but now it had been to long. The blacks wanted equality now. When you "wait for more than 340 years" and you are doing sit-ins, nothing will change. Malcolm X is right "anything can sit."


    In conclusion, I would like to say that Malcolm X is right. He went to different countries to help the blacks in the United States. Martin Luther King Jr. Was about sitting there and doing nothing. No fighting. What are you going to get accomplished by doing nothing but sitting? You won't get the black equality, you are looking for. "You can not sing upon freedom, but you may swing upon freedom!"

  • Integration has failed

    The blackman continues to be a second class citizen in this integrated society. Malcolm rightly pointed out that there's need to empower the oppressed so that they can integrate with a thorough knowledge of themselves. Otherwise as we integrate we lose our identity and become more european. As people integrate they lose their culture and identity

  • While both are good, Malcolm X suffered more

    His family died at the hand of Scandinavian Klansmen, causing him to have hatred for white people. The Anglo-Saxon Black Legions, of Michigan, took his father and murdered him in cold blood. MLK without a doubt suffered persecuted, but he and his family and his friends were more united. Malcolm X through circumstances resorted to crime. The Black Legions who had systematic power in the Dakotas and Michigan caused Malcolm X's hatred. To me that's worse than Hitler.

  • Malcolm X: Unsung hero and a black genius

    I have never seen/heard a single human being like Malcolm X who can single handedly intimidate his bully opponents by his sheer intellect. It is a pity that he gave the label of Islam for his legitimate civil right movement. I think MLK would not have achieved what he achieved if Malcolm X did not play his key role. Both were necessary.


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