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Martin Luther King and Malcolm X Essay Sample

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Martin Luther King and Malcolm X Essay Sample

Martin Luther King and Malcolm X are two of the most important figures in American history, they are responsible for the start of the end of racial discrimination in the United States, at least on paper.  Their actions spurred on legislation after legislation focusing on equality between races.

            Despite the difference of method in achieving their goals, Martin Luther King Jr., professing non-violence in contrast to Malcolm X whose famous tag line is “by any means necessary,” (CMGWW) both are heralded as heroes of the Civil Rights Movement.  The actions of these two civil rights advocates paved the way for several laws, most notable of which is the Civil Rights Act of 1964 signed by President Johnson (SeattleTimes.com, 2007).  The Civil Rights Act of 1964 “made racial discrimination in public places, such as theaters, restaurants and hotels, illegal. It also required employers to provide equal employment opportunities. Projects involving federal funds could now be cut off if there was evidence of discriminated (sic) based on colour, race or national origin” (Spartacus Educational).

            Despite the claim that both civil rights advocates were able to achieve what most people during that time felt was impossible, I believe that the most radical, stirring incident that started the avalanche of public opinion towards equality was the death of both advocates.  The assassinations of the two heroes showed the people that what they were fighting for was an achievable dream and that they were getting closer to attaining it that they had to be put down in order to safeguard the status quo and the traditional way of living.

            In fine, their death although a tragedy was a blessing in disguise and marked the beginning of American change towards equality.


CMGWW. About Malcolm X. Retrieved March 20, 2008, from http://www.cmgww.com/historic/malcolm/about/facts.htm

SeattleTimes.com (2007). Martin Luther King Jr. Retrieved March 20, 2008, from http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/special/mlk/king/timeline.html

Spartacus Educational. Martin Luther King.  Retrieved March 20, 2008, from http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAkingML.htm

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