History Essay Paper on How does the author (David Howard-Pitney) characterize Martin Luther King? Malcolm X?

CIVIL RIGHTS

How does the author (David Howard-Pitney) characterize Martin Luther King? Malcolm X?

David Howard characterizes Martin Luther King Jr. as a man with complex intellectual understanding of  the human race and individuals’ rights to a free world. The King emphasized different influences, marked his audience, and presented cases based on the black religious experiences.[1] Through the understanding of the black religious doctrines, which did treat every human equal, the king was able to initiate various waves of public protests that were purely designed to call for public attention to the injustice of economic and social segregations. The series of protests in Howard’s writing portray Martin Luther king as a leader who could be trusted, patient, brave, and persistent. Martin Luther Knew that he had to remain patient, brave, trustworthy and persistent if he truly wanted to succeed in his quest for a more balanced society; a society where people are not judged by their color but by the content of their brain.

Just like Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X was brought up in middle class life of relative comfort and as the son of a Baptist Minister; he saw the violence suffered by blacks. He saw his father suffer and killed by white supremacists as well as his mother being a victim of the indifferent white-ruled government. This made Malcolm to link whites with evil, which formed the main theme of his speeches in late years. While building a strong foundation as a revolutionist, Malcolm X found salvation in the hands of black messenger. The new religion saw Malcolm X walk from a life of dissipation to a life of purpose vested in fighting for racial independence and leadership movements.

What is historically significant about each man?

Martin Luther King and Malcolm X were some of the great civil right activists and leaders in history. Their fight for human right and civilization presented two wings of revolt with a focus on the effects of racism on blacks. In the fight against racism, both the King and Malcolm X advocated for nonviolent resistance and revolution.[2] David Howard identifies Martin Luther King and Malcolm X as men of purpose, and even though their advocated for a peaceful protest with an aim of securing social equality between the blacks and whites, they ended up dying violently in the hand of the US government who could not withstand their position and influence among people. According to David Howard, Malcolm X offered alternative understanding to the mainstream of civil right movements in which he advocated for an established separate black community and violence in self-defense. Malcolm believed that the uncompromising evils of white man were a threat to the black community and the only solution was to avoid community integration. In David Howard work, Martin Luther King is depicted as the voice of American civil right, which was focused on equal rights for both the blacks and whites. Unlike Malcolm X, Martin Luther stood for nonviolent resistance as the only means to eliminate injustices and put to an end segregation laws.[3]

Even though Martin Luther King and Malcolm X held different views on the best strategies to fight social injustices and segregation, the two civil right activists believed in a common course. The introduction does not provide enough proofs to believe that Martin Luther and Malcolm were opposite. For example, the introduction only points to the religious differences that existed between the two human right activists while in a wider perspective, both Martin Luther and Malcolm had a massage of social empowerment and maintained dignity, which was perceived as a threat to the white community. The two human right activists were raised from a middle social class, experienced various kinds of injustices, and built a leadership that was deeply rooted in righteousness and commitment to ensuring social justice. Even though the two civil right activists at times criticized, each other based on religion, which was seen to be different, the still retained moral authority to spearhead a movement that was dedicated to social responsibility and communal growth.[4]

Chapter 3: Means of Struggle:  Nonviolence v. By Any Means Necessary

What is the major topic of the chapter?

The chapter discusses the differences between the two civil activists based on the means of achieving social recognition and victory over the oppressive rules of the white dominated region.

What is the major point of view of each writer?

While Martin Luther King advocated for nonviolence protests and evolution as the best approach towards ensuring social freedom, Malcolm X advocated for other means especially where the nonviolence means have failed to achieve its course.

How are the views similar and/or different?

The views of the two civil activists remain similar in the sense that they advocated for the most appropriate and prompt means of achieving social freedom. On the other hand, the views were seen to be different in the sense that Martin Luther advocated for peaceful demonstration while Malcolm demonstrated the importance of using other means like violence. 

 Is there change over time in the thinking of either man?

There is a change in thinking of Malcolm on the use of violence or other means as the approach towards ensuring social equality. Due to opposing forces between the two civil right activists, they ended up believing on a common course and process towards social liberation. 

Do the writings support the description of each leader given in the introduction? Why or why not?

The writings support the description of each leader given in the introduction because they point to the kind of consensus that would occur after several criticisms arising from either side.

Chapter 4: On America: Dream or Nightmare

What is the major topic of the chapter?

The chapter discusses the relationship between Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X’s ideas of America with controversial legacies.

What is the major point of view of each writer?

While Martin Luther King believed on the sense of better life for the black races in America to be best described as a dream, Malcolm believed on the sense of a life best described as a nightmare.[5]

How are the views similar and/or different?

The views of the sense of American life as presented by Martin Luther King and Malcolm remain similar in the sense that their focus on an improved future life of black Americans. On the contrary, the King’s dream for better America is pegged on social equality between the blacks and whites while Malcolm X’s nightmare is rooted on social segregation and independent black community.

 Is there change over time in the thinking of either man?

From the discussions presented by David Howard, the two civil right activists remain opposite in their thinking for better America and this was the main source of criticism.

Do the writings support the description of each leader given in the introduction? Why or why not?

The writings support the description of each leader given in the introduction because they relate to the religious beliefs of each leader.[6] Christians believe on human equality as presented in Biblical teaching while Muslims believe on social superiority, violence, and vengeances.   

Chapter 5: Critiques of Rival Racial Programs and Philosophies

What is the major topic of the chapter?

The topic points to the racial rival that existed between the white Americans and Black Americans, the programs and philosophies as well as their critics.

What is the major point of view of each writer?

While Martin Luther believed that the rival racial programs and philosophies were unnecessary among the people of America, Malcolm believed that rival racial programs and philosophies were some of the methods that could be used to alienate population and develop a more independent community.  

How are the views similar and/or different?

The views are only similar up to the point where they advocate for a peaceful relationship between the white Americans and Black Americans but become different when one leader focuses on community segregation other than a country that recognizes social equality and communal unity.

 Is there change over time in the thinking of either man?

On the issues of communal segregation and individual independence, the thinking of the two leaders remain clipped on their understanding of the importance of each process. There are no indications that either leader was able to deviate from his understanding of the most appropriate due process that would result into social optimization.

Do the writings support the description of each leader given in the introduction? Why or why not?

            On King’s social equality, the writings seem to deviate from his planned approach of nonviolent demonstrations while in the side of Malcolm X, the writings support his concepts of other means of gaining social independence.

Chapter 6: Eras of Convergence:  Late Directions

What is the major topic of the chapter?

The chapter discusses the growing pessimism and doubts raised on the social relationships among the people of America.

What is the major point of view of each writer?

While Martin Luther King Jr. believes that self-confidence could result into a more civilized society than those primitive and backward societies, Malcolm X’s understanding on eras on convergence is based on the forms of social evolution and hard economic times the black Americans faced during the periods of oppression.

How are the views similar and/or different?

The views are similar in the sense that they give directions on the best approaches that could be used to provide social and economic protection by enhancing social integration. The views are different in the sense that while Martin Luther King believed on those factors that could unite the two societies, Malcolm X believed on that a community can only be economically viable is there are some forms of independence.   

 Is there change over time in the thinking of either man?

There is no change in the thinking of either man on the importance of social convergences, especially when it comes to improving the relationships between the white and black communities.

Do the writings support the description of each leader given in the introduction? Why or why not?

            The writings support the description of each leader given in the introduction. For example, the writings support King’s understanding of social convergence as the main process towards ensuring equality among American population.[7] Similarly, the writings support Malcolm X’s view of social convergence as the leading process towards improving economic performance and social recognition of the population.

Bibliography

Howard-Pitney, David, ed. 2004. Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and the Civil Rights Struggle of the 1950s and 1960s: A Brief History with Documents. Boston: Bedford/. Martin’s. 


[1] Howard-Pitney, David, ed. Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and the Civil Rights Struggle of the 1950s and 1960s: A Brief History with Documents. (Boston: Bedford/. Martin’s, 2004) pp. 131. 

[2] Howard-Pitney, David, ed. Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and the Civil Rights Struggle of the 1950s and 1960s: A Brief History with Documents. (Boston: Bedford/. Martin’s, 2004) pp. 133.

[3] ibid

[4] Howard-Pitney, David, ed. Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and the Civil Rights Struggle of the 1950s and 1960s: A Brief History with Documents. (Boston: Bedford/. Martin’s, 2004) pp. 135.

[5] Howard-Pitney, David, ed. Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and the Civil Rights Struggle of the 1950s and 1960s: A Brief History with Documents. (Boston: Bedford/. Martin’s, 2004) pp. 136.

[6] Howard-Pitney, David, ed. Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and the Civil Rights Struggle of the 1950s and 1960s: A Brief History with Documents. (Boston: Bedford/. Martin’s, 2004) pp. 140.

[7] Howard-Pitney, David, ed. Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and the Civil Rights Struggle of the 1950s and 1960s: A Brief History with Documents. (Boston: Bedford/. Martin’s, 2004) pp. 144.