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King Vs X Essay

1108 words - 5 pages

To what extent did the aims and methods of Martin Luther King differ from those of black power activists?

There is no question that the aims and methods of Martin Luther King differed from those of Black Power activists. King was peaceful and wanted integration with whites while Black Power activists confronted violence and believed in black supremacism and separatism. But they were also similar in some ways, such as speaking out on the Vietnam War. The aims of king differed significantly from those of Black Power activists.

The aims and methods of MLK did differ from those of Black Power activists. For example, King’s campaigns such as the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955 and ...view middle of the document...

These are pieces of evidence which show how the aims and methods of Martin Luther King differed from those of Black Power activists.

In contrast, was Black Power Activists who some like Malcolm X, believed that blacks should defend themselves because it made them look weak and allowed whites to take advantage. Malcolm X was brought up in the 'ghetto', and had to learn to defend himself against racist white children. He was deprived of his father, who was found dead, murdered by a white mob. His mother became mentally ill so he was sent to a foster home. Malcolm X wasn’t a Christian and so he didn’t believe in King’s Christian philosophy. This is a clear difference in both methods and ideology. Malcolm X believed that integration would bring about a new form of slavery between whites and blacks, with whites being richer and blacks being poorer. He wanted blacks to manage their own economy and even suggested having their own country. It wasn’t just X who didn’t want integration, as SNCC and CORE banned white members in the late 1960s. Black Panthers didn’t want it either and were far more radical than King, as the Panthers walked around with guns and were even labelled a ‘terrorist’ organisation by the FBI. The clear difference here is that King wanted integration with whites while Black Power activists only wanted to help blacks. Black Power activists concentrated on achieving economic and social inequality in the north. Examples of this include the Black Panthers survival programmes such as free liberation schools. These were some of the key elements that made the black power movement as successful as it was in its own way

Although seemly different, there are examples that show common ground between the two. Although King focused on the south at the beginning, he did move to the north to try and tackle social and economic inequality. Examples of this include Chicago 1966 and Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike 1968. Although failures, they are examples of how King and Black Power activists targeted areas for the same reasons. King also changed his philosophy right at the end of his life in the Poor Peoples Campaign 1968, where he asked for nationwide civil disobedience. This was a sign that King would have...

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