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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 spoke the truth

    I don't care what you say, Malcolm was just a lot more truthful in his arguments. Although he said some things most people didn't want to hear or accept, they were still true. MLK's arguments just seemed a little more convenient for the white man. MLK (although a great leader in his own right) argued that the black man needs to move into the house of the white man (of course that's going to be a more popular opinion). Whereas Malcolm argued that the black man needs to build his own house; and by building his own community he will gain the self-respect needed to truly integrate with whites. However, if you let integration happen without the wounds being healed/fixed first, then the wounds will always be there. As we seen in today's world from the amount of racism still present. And for anyone who thinks that Malcolm preached violence is simply uneducated on the matter. That's what the media wanted people to think, but the only time Malcolm was pro violence was in defense of racist attacks on black people; and what's wrong with that?

  • Malcolm X and Martin Luther king both were incredible men and leaders and are both my heroes.

    I don't think its fair to put both of these amazing African american leaders against each other.They both stood up for what they believed in and they both wanted equality.Yes,they had different ways on going about it but they were different people and had different opinions views and perspectives but like I said they wanted the same thing.They both have amazing quotes and both of their legacies will live on.I do wish that more people would learn about Malcolm x and see he was a great leader as well although he did have his flaws.Malcolm stood by what he believed in and that alone made him a great civil rights leader just as well as Martin Luther King Jr.I feel the reason that a lot of people will say Martin Luther king was the better leader because he wanted everyone to get along and be together and he was a man of peace and Malcolm was a man that was a little more violent.I learned a lot from the both of them.Which is another reason why I think they are equal because both of them had some good knowledge although again they had different ways on going about it.Both of them are my heroes.I have so much respect for them and is so grateful to them both.Both of these amazing men helped to make a difference.

  • Failed Black Leadership

    Here, we go yet again! It's not about what Black leader was better, or worse. It's really all about where is the so-called Black leadership that is willing to be held accoutable as Black leadership...Period! Sorry, but there's no one on the radar that fits that model. And, pray tell....Why doesn't Black "so-called" leadership even willing to address "head on" the continuing issues that confront the African American community? It's strange that people like both Sharpton, and Jackson are so willing to show up when a black man is killed yet again, by the police, but at the very same time are for the most part "missing in action" when a black person is killed, or shot down in the streets at the hands of another Black person!

  • Malcolm X rules!

    Really I just know that he is better than Martin Luther King, Jr. Because I am Malcolm X. Yes I said that I am Malcolm X. I didn't actually die. It was just a stunt I did so that people would finally leave me alone and I could live in peace. I think that it is time I come back to the public by saying that Martin came to me once and actually told me that he thought I was a better civil rights leader than he was. So that is all I have for an argument. I am going back to hiding now. Bye!

    Posted by: Yam
  • Was, or could have been?

    MLK did not have the upbringing that represented the audience of the oppressed. I feel that the only reason he got any attention was because he was a minister. If not for that, I don't see him achieving much. Malcolm X is the embodiment of an oppressed black man who was beaten down, but still managed to fight against discrimination and oppression. This is honestly VERY hard to do and not even a handful of people have done it. Also, Malcolm X was BY FAR the better speaker than MLK. Other than the "Dream" speech and the "Letter to Birmingham Jail", MLK had absolutely no skill in speech. Whereas Malcolm X delivered powerful speeches that moved the crowd and shoved humility into the oppressors' faces. If Malcolm X had not been assassinated and still led civil rights after his epiphany in Hajj (pilgrimage), MLK would have been kicked out of the books.

  • This is why

    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."

  • Malcolm X's career demonstrates a far more articulate, dedicated, and sincere individual in the cause of the advancement of the person of colour.

    Just because people from Caucasian backgrounds support a leader from a minority background does not make him necessarily right. It might seem scary or even radical for someone to theorise that African-Americans should abide by a distinct brand of Black Nationalism as opposed to general American patriotism, but in this year of 2015 as we approach the second to last full year of the Obama Administration, I would like to remind you how the United States has utterly failed the person of colour. People like President Obama, Senator Jessie Jackson, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., failed African-Americans because they have in essence sold out to the establishment. It is tragic how King was assassinated in 1968, but it is even more tragic how Malcolm X was martyred in 1965, a full three years earlier.

    As it is said in the Book of Luke, "... No prophet is accepted in his own hometown." King was largely not accepted by his own people because many have chosen to engage in reverse racism rather than judging by "content of character" as he advised in his "I Have a Dream" speech. He was, however, assassinated by a White man. Interestingly enough, Malcolm X was not only rejected by Blacks, he was assassinated by Blacks, namely the Farrakhan-types.

    Malcolm X was not a racist. He was an extremely articulate person who the weak-minded have chosen to defame with the slander of racism. Sure, Malcolm X had a criminal background, but that is because the system failed him.

    That brings me to my final point: Dr. King had courage to take on some components of bigotry, but he was not willing to take the entire system down, which probably was why he was assassinated later rather than sooner. More importantly, this is why the system eventually honoured him with a national holiday, whereas the most Malcolm X received was a Spike Lee masterpiece (which Denzel Washington honestly deserved an Oscar for, especially when compared to Al Pacino who received it in 1993 and the film Washington actually received a Best Actor award for: Training Day) and a boulevard in Manhattan. Why do you think politicians, educators, preachers, activists, and even laypeople go out of their way to mention MLK and not Malcolm X? Could it not be possible that they have all made the conscious movement to subscribe to the groupthink that MLK was supposedly better even though this is most likely not the case?

    Malcolm Shabaaz was the underdog. He may have taken an unpopular method of seeking the uplift of Blacks in America, but this confrontational approach is what civil rights is all about: struggling to be free. Both Shabaaz and King sacrificed their lives in the cause of freedom, but something about what Malcolm X stood for demonstrates just how much further he was willing to go to so that Black people could rise up. If people cannot appreciate the revolutionary fervour of X's genius, they do so at their own peril.


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