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Differences Between Martin Luther King and Malcolm X

martin-luther-king-and-malcolm-x_sMartin Luther King vs Malcolm X

In history, everyone knows that no two great men are alike. And when you compare Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, you will know instantly that such is true. There are many differences between the two, apart from the striking one: that Martin Luther King was a very good statesman who delivered moving speeches about peace, freedom and democracy while Malcolm X was a known eradicator of those who were not of the superior white race.

The beliefs of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X may stem from the fact that their childhoods were vastly different, given that the former lived in a very comfortable and middle class home while the latter experienced the worst that an underprivileged home. The former was very educated, while the latter was self-taught after what little schooling he had received. Martin Luther King actually came from a family who was well-known in their area of Atlanta, while Malcolm X was a virtual nobody.

One could probably say that Martin Luther King enjoyed the best that life had to offer at that time especially the presence of loving parents. On the other hand, Malcolm X was someone who early on experienced anger over witnessing his house being burned followed by his father being murdered. His mother then suffered a breakdown and this resulted into his family being split up. Based on their childhood and growing up years alone (class issues, educational opportunities, level of household comfort and presence of loving parents), you could probably tell where their beliefs were grounded on.

Where Martin Luther King was focused on equality and the goodness of man, as well as his ability to do good in the name of goodness itself, Malcolm X’s own view of the world was pretty much tinted with anger, bitterness and the desire to get back at the world that treated him pretty much unfairly.

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  1. i like dis i lern,d new stuff i didnt no about my race think u

    • Why would you do this? your shit is weak, bring some better wit next time.

    • You guys Malcom X was a very violent person, while Martin was not.

      • Actually, Malcolm X only supported the idea of using violence in order to achieve racial freedom “at all costs”. He, in fact, did no ever use violence himself.

        • Not to be puttin you guys down, but Martin had a form of violence in there too. He influenced people to break laws. He influenced black people to go into white people places. He did so even though he knew the consequences that white people would get violent with them.

          • yes MLK did encourage people to break these laws but they were against the constitution and they did them non-violently, they went and sat at empty lunch counters meant for whites only. The purpose of it was to aggravate the racist whites and make them act out in an extremely violent manner so that not only the country but the world could see the many injustices. MLK was not violent and he and his close followers never responded back to their tormentors with violence. They practiced the doctrine of non-violence and civil disobedience.

          • Malcolm X’s teaching were not fit for the time period he was leaving in. When people say he was violent it makes one think that he just went out shooting white people. But that wasn’t the case he believed in defending oneself if people try to violate your rights through violence. Furthermore later in life Malcolm changed his views slightly when he dismissed himself form the nation of Islam.

          • dumbass they weren’t being violent though.

        • that’s not really correct he believed that if whites do not use violence blacks would not use violence but if whites use violence black should use violence too

  2. I’m not happy with the way you portrayed my father or my house.

  3. I think you didn’t give X a fair chance here. This seems bias, more in favor of Martin Luther King and what he had done. Yes, his way was done with less anger, but you have more details of his while the details about Malcom’s life and struggles are vague.

  4. This is extremely bias.

    ‘Malcolm X was a known eradicator of those who were not of the superior white race.’

    ‘Superior’? Really?

    The fact is, the whites supported MLK more because they didn’t have the balls to contend with Malcolm X.
    If MLK had had a fraction of the troubled up bringing that X received, he wouldn’t have been so chummy with the whites.

    • i think the two at the top are dumb for saying this bias when all it’s stating is the facts of malcolm x’s present and past. They didn’t just make this up to be bias..they wrote exactly how the history was portrayed.

    • I believe that you did not give Malcolm X a fair shake in your statement when you use the the words superior White the other portion of that is Malcolm being self educated and turning to be a self educator of those who are less fortunate continuing his education until the day he died he was no different from the Colonials that came here from England .Wen they found that they were being oppressed by England and tax unjustly they’re broke away from England and war broke out those White return violence for violence.the Constitution being broken by those in power of that day violating their own constitution

  5. All correctly stated FACTS. Thank You!

  6. Wait, wait, wait, what about Malcolm returning to the US 1964 changing his opinion of what he thought about white people. I believe this was somewhat bias because even though Malcolm X was influenced through anger he did turn his views around before he was killed 1965.

    By the way I want everybody to scroll to the very bottom of the page and notice it says
    “2011 Articles on DifferenceBetween.net are general information, and are not intended to substitute for professional advice. The information is “AS IS”, “WITH ALL FAULTS”.”

  7. This is a very skewed “difference” comparison… Martin Luther King and Malcom X’s upbringing and education were not the only vast differences. Malcolm X had muslim faith, he felt to make the black race separatist faction, earn equality by any means necessary.
    Martin Luther King lead a religious peaceful movement. The latter was a much easier pill to fathom compared to the extreme views of Malcom X

  8. bottom line: this website sucks! way to bias and there was alot more to both of them then what is says


  10. You really researched this with a lopsided view of Malcolm X. To say that Malcolm X was a “virtual nobody” when growing up is a lie. Why dont you talk about how Malcolm was born into the same type of family Martin was, with a prominent Baptist preacher father. It was only when he saw the KKK lynch his father, his mother went insane, he had to go into foster care, and when his teacher told him he couldn’t be a lawyer because of his race that he lost his way. You act like he was a “problem child” from the beginning when he wasn’t. You didnt do your research! And the messages he spoke about in most of his speeches where very similar to MLK. He just had a very forceful way of saying it, a different method of delivery. The ONLY two difference between the two are the non violence aspect and Malcolm wanting to keep segregated. Even that changed after his trip to Mecca. So the only difference between the two ended up being Malcolms “by any means necessary” and MLK’s non violence. I’m sorry but you’re perception on history is to skewed to be counted as fact. You need to state this as your opinion!

  11. tell them girl

  12. While Malcom’s rhetoric was hostile in it’s perception and delivery, one has to realize it was in reaction to the historical mis-truths and violence inflicted upon Black Americans that brought about this rhetorical response. Like or not it was all true. Martin chose a different approach while the violence Malcom spoke in retaliation was being infflicted upon those choosing the nonviolent approach. Wow what Irony!

  13. they did the bllack wrong!

  14. hi im 11 years old at blytheville school

  15. Malcolm X was an idiot…. This is the man who winged about the white man and slavery, this imbecilic muslim who went to Mecca which at the time had AFRICANS for sale. The man loved ARABS which in turn were his new masters.

    I like Mr King however


    • Hey alex u need 2 shut da !@#$ up he is SMARTER THAN YO DUMB ASS

    • America was the first country to do slavery by race

  16. nice

  17. Sorry, bad article, no real information given, leaving out VERY IMPORTANT and relevant details. Come on guys, its not like it was getting too long, its a very short piece. How is it NOT relevant that Malcolm’s father was a follower of Marcus Garvey who was killed by the KKK? How can you judgmentally trivialise his perspective saying it was “pretty much tinted ny anger”? How can you not mention any of his teachings, or any of either of their works? That first paragraph is a disgrace honestly, not only in its clear bias but also in the lack of proof reading. How can the words Christian, Muslim and Nation of Islam not come up anywhere in the article!? Disappointing. I’m sure this article has and will continue to mislead uninformed people who are either using this as a simple start to their study or those who are looking for a quick answer.

  18. This article overlooks not only all that Malcolm X accomplished in his lifetime, but the impact he left after being murdered. MLK was a martyr according to whites in government, but his death was the end of the peaceful civil rights movement. Malcolm X’s death inspired the black power movement and black panthers. While MLK fought to break down the de jure segregation legally, Malcolm X fought against the de facto segregation that still existed even in the northern states. The black power movements created the first breakfast for children programs, free health clinics and organizations to give parents in prison time with their families along with fighting against police brutality, which was a huge issue at the time. You can disagree with Malcom’s ideology, but you cannot deny the impact he made for blacks and minorities reaching equality.

    • Laws…you mean laws created to keep one group of people suppressed…these were the laws of evil intent, and when you have such laws you fight against them. That in no way excuse the treatment of brutality against any of God children. Yes they sat at their old lunch counters and broke satan laws and aroused his evil “jim crow” followers (never leaders), but not one of those young black boys or girls fought back against grown white people who were abusing them. When you see white boys or white women being hung from trees and beaten beyond recognition because they sat at an all black lunch counter or use and all white restroom, or God forbid going up against everything that was wrong on every level in the fight for Civil Rights error…I might accept your comment that they were breaking laws!!

  19. Difference in faith that why this article is one sided Malcolm was a Muslim well educate even without loving parent his speeches awesome

  20. kkk

    kkk killed malcoms father

    • Both men were great Americans. While Dr. King taught black assimilation into white American society to acquire equality, Malcolm X taught self reliance,self sufficiency to the fullest potential the creator gave you, then black Americans will not have to resort to begging white America for acceptance. If you look at black Americans today; where they own nothing of an economy and must continue relying on white Americans for survival; Malcolm X was right.

  21. One of the coolest, bravest and most intellectual who is often under-appreciated compared to his known peers: Malcolm X — He sounds like a superhero.
    I was brought up to look up to MLK b/c it’s what schools teach the most. But as I got older and learned things outside of school, I could def appreciate MX despite the controversy surrounding him.

  22. i think that both of them were important leaders in the civil rights movement

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