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Leaders of the Civil Rights Movement

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    As the Civil Rights Movement heated up during the 1960s, two men emerged as the leaders of two distinctly different kinds of Civil Rights movements. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. emerged as the leader of the mainstream Civil Rights movement, while Malcolm Xrepresenteda more radical movement known as the Black Muslims. These two men represented two very different ideologies and methods for accomplishing their goals. Dr. King was a Reverend who was the leader of the nonviolence movement that culminated in the 1963 march on Washington, D.C. Malcolm X, on the other hand, is most famous for advocating a position of strength by encouraging African-Americans to defend themselves even if that means resorting to violence to do so.

    In this assignment you will explore two speeches, one from each of these inspired leaders of the Modern Civil Rights Movement. You will investigate these speeches from both a literary and an historical point of view. Both of these men were not only admired leaders but they were also eloquent writers. Be sure to include their view of government involvement and expectations of both the "black" and "white" communities to gain Civil Rights.

    Comparing Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X


    Read speeches from MLK

    Read the attached quotes below.



    1.  Click on each of the links above to read Martin Luther KingJr'sspeech and some of his important quotes. Then listen to excerpts of speeches byMalcomX and read some of his famous quotes.

    2.  Literary Analysis:

    In a paragraph, compare the tone and mood of the two men.
    Fromeachspeaker, cite specific quotes that support your conclusions.

    3.  Historical Analysis:

    Dr. King and Malcolm X each suggest radically different approaches to attaining freedom and equality for African-Americans in American society. In a paragraph, contrast these two leaders' approaches to freedom and equality, and state which side you believe is the more effective approach. Be sure to give specific quotes to support your conclusions.

    Submit your responses to the above questions on the next page.