Debate: Was Martin Luther King, Jr. or Malcolm X a better leader for civil rights for blacks?

Jan 24, 2008 Full story: Helium 24

Let's put things into context: in some senses, 1960s America was a very divided society. via Helium

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Vincent Seard

Lebanon, TN

#1 Jan 29, 2008
They have both affected the way you and I live. Who had a bigger influence? Who's to say?

Since: Feb 08

Davison, MI

#2 Feb 13, 2008
Did you see Malcolm X on American Experience? I found it was really something to see. I don't agree with his thoughts and beliefs, however, what a speaker!!!! I think he was misguided, but I feel he was gifted!! He spoke fearlessly. This was probably foolish but is was stunning to see someone make public statements as he did. It was also enlightening to see 2 different religions and their approach to the same painful situation of inequality and unjust practices. Isn't it interesting that Martin Luther Kings group practiced peaceful solutions as they believed in the Christian Faith and Malcolm spoke a lot about hate and segragation with his Muslim faith. As radical as he was he was extremely articulate and quite interesting to watch.
Henry

AOL

#3 Feb 13, 2008
Vincent Seard wrote:
They have both affected the way you and I live. Who had a bigger influence? Who's to say?
A white president did more for blacks than both of them!

Since: Feb 08

Davison, MI

#4 Feb 13, 2008
Henry wrote:
<quoted text>
A white president did more for blacks than both of them!
You are right, and mostly likely a Christ believing President as many of our earlier ones were. Malcolm was an outstanding speaker. However, I think the Muslims hate us and I think they used him to promote their hate and try to divide us as a people. The Muslims want to destroy us. They did destroy Malcolm.
blah blah

Wolverhampton, UK

#6 Nov 30, 2008
I hate all white people
blah blah

Wolverhampton, UK

#7 Nov 30, 2008
coffee drinker wrote:
<quoted text>
You are right, and mostly likely a Christ believing President as many of our earlier ones were. Malcolm was an outstanding speaker. However, I think the Muslims hate us and I think they used him to promote their hate and try to divide us as a people. The Muslims want to destroy us. They did destroy Malcolm.
muslims did not destroy anyone you retarted piece of crap!!!
Dr Endo

AOL

#8 Nov 30, 2008
Vincent Seard wrote:
They have both affected the way you and I live. Who had a bigger influence? Who's to say?
No contest--MLK! Rosa Parks changed history more than MX.
NC Student

Hickory, NC

#9 Dec 3, 2008
I feel that this question really discredits the civil rights movement. I am a white student doing an honors thesis on the impact that both of these men had. I originally thought that King was more influential on the civil rights but boy was I wrong. The movement addressed two different groups for two different reasons. King addressed the rural blacks in the south, while Malcolm addressed the impoverished in the north. King focused on the white ruling class while Malcolm focused the disenfranchised blacks. King wanted to humanize whites while Malcolm wanted to restore humanity to blacks. If you notice, after the Malcolm was expelled from the Nation of Islam and King was heckled during the Watts Riots, both men made a move towards the other which led them to the center. So to say that neither had an effect on other is totally flawed. Malcolm X instilled the pride in African-Americans to take advantage victories that King was able to win.
To address that a white president did more for the movement than both of them is complete ludicrous. It took nonviolent protests in which hundreds were injured and dozens killed to get Kennedy to introduce the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Johnson to finally sign it. It took the Selma Crusades to press Johnson for the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Granted Kingís message is more appealing, then again, being spit on, not being allowed to vote, and being told that youíre not equal would make any message for equality appealing. So donít say one man was more important than the other, which was the whole premise that inspired King and Malcolm and countless others to do what they did of all races.
Lii

West Chester, PA

#10 Dec 3, 2008
In my oppinion, based on what I've seen and heard of the two, MLK was more influential in helping the Civil Rights Movement. I think white people were probably more comfortable with him, while MX would have made them more uncomfortable, probably hindering what he was trying to help.

“My heart and Soul”

Since: Sep 08

Long Beach,Ca.

#11 Dec 3, 2008
Both are my heroes. No need to pick.
Muhammad

Kilmarnock, UK

#12 Jul 11, 2009
They were both influential.. Dr king's thoughts was great but in reality that "turn the other cheeck" shit wouldn't achaive us anything, in fact you would still be a slave! Amd like Gandhi said "eye for an eye would just make everyone blind" but atleast EVERYONE would be blind! M.X
Littile DJ

Troy, AL

#13 Apr 4, 2011
I am influence by both of them, but I honstly think that MLK was the best there is.MX did have a great way with his's. MLK inspired many with his non-violence, and he showed that you can solve a problem with out hit some one acrosthe head or talking trash about someone.
Viola McViolet

Phoenix, AZ

#14 Apr 5, 2011
Henry wrote:
<quoted text>
A white president did more for blacks than both of them!
In certain aspects yes.

But Dr. King and Malcolm X brought the spark of inspiration to people that created the movements that changed history that pressured those in power to take action.

They inspired people to change their lives, to believe in themselves and others, to change the way people looked at the world and their place in it. To develop empathy.
Kuma

UK

#15 Sep 7, 2011
Viola McViolet wrote:
<quoted text>
In certain aspects yes.
But Dr. King and Malcolm X brought the spark of inspiration to people that created the movements that changed history that pressured those in power to take action.
They inspired people to change their lives, to believe in themselves and others, to change the way people looked at the world and their place in it. To develop empathy.
That's well said
TheTrueWord

Nairobi, Kenya

#17 Feb 22, 2012
coffee drinker wrote:
<quoted text>
You are right, and mostly likely a Christ believing President as many of our earlier ones were. Malcolm was an outstanding speaker. However, I think the Muslims hate us and I think they used him to promote their hate and try to divide us as a people. The Muslims want to destroy us. They did destroy Malcolm.
I hope you're not talking about the emancipation proclemation, because racism and demeaning the black races mentality. Abraham Lincoln's contribution was miniscule, and he probably did the most of all the black presidents.
And people seem to forget that before Malcolm X came along, MLK was the "extremist" e.t.c And people only started listening to him when they heard the alternative.
TheTrueWord

Nairobi, Kenya

#18 Feb 22, 2012
Sorry, meant to say, "racism and the demeaning of the black mentality went on long after.
Barros Serrano

Silver City, NM

#20 Feb 22, 2012
blah blah wrote:
<quoted text>
muslims did not destroy anyone you retarted piece of crap!!!
Muslims have destroyed freedom and culture in many countries, and are responsible for history's greatest genocide. Don't be naive.

And it was the NOI who killed Malcolm, though they did it in collaboration with FBI-COINTELPRO.

Islam is filth.
Barros Serrano

Silver City, NM

#21 Feb 22, 2012
Malcolm and Martin... they had different approaches, but both were useful, and the combination of these two speaking to issues of social justice in the end was more effective than either of them could have been alone.

The fact that both of them were assassinated by FBI manipulations should tell us that both were effective, and feared by the powers-that-be.

And let's not forget the Black Panther Party, also a positive force and very influential at the time.
Panther

Atlanta, GA

#23 Jul 24, 2012
Both were intelligent, but BR0THER MALC0LM X!

He did much m0re to help the Black c0mmunities.:)
coen oparah

Accra, Ghana

#25 Mar 28, 2014
I THINK MALCOLM X WAS BETTER BECAUSE HE DIDN'T WAIT FOR THE WHITES TO LET US FORGET ABOUT OUR CULTURE.HE WANTED TO LET THE WHITES PERISH LIKE HOW THE AFRICANS DID
SO THAT THEY WOULD SEE THE CONSEQUENCES OF THEIR ACTS
WITHOUT MALCOLM X YOU AND I WOULDN'T BE HERE RIGHT NOW.

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