Martin Luther King v. Malcolm X Name: _____________________
Malcolm X P. _________
Directions: Read the information below about MLK. In your small groups you will create a poster following the guidelines below. You will present your poster to another group and then examine your conclusions regarding MLK and Malcolm X.
Below is a number of passages and questions you will answer to better get to know MLK.
Doc A- Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam
When MALCOLM LITTLE was growing up in Lansing, Michigan, he developed a mistrust for white Americans. Ku Klux Klan terrorists burned his house, and his father was later murdered — an act young Malcolm attributed to local whites. After moving to Harlem, Malcolm turned to crime. Soon he was arrested and sent to jail.
The prison experience was eye-opening for the young man, and he soon made some decisions that altered the course of his life. He began to read and educate himself. Influenced by other inmates, he converted to Islam. Upon his release, he was a changed man with a new identity.
Believing his true lineage to be lost when his ancestors were forced into slavery, he took the last name of a variable: X.
WALLACE FARDfounded theNATION OF ISLAMin the 1930s. Christianity was the white man's religion, declared Fard. It was forced on African Americans during the slave experience. Islam was closer to African roots and identity. Members of the Nation of Islam read the Koran, worship Allah as their God, and accept Mohammed as their chief prophet. Mixed with the religious tenets of Islam were BLACK PRIDEandBLACK NATIONALISM. The followers of Fard became known as BLACK MUSLIMS.
1. What did you find out about Malcolm X?
Doc B- Separate Societies- “By any means necessary”
Malcolm X delivered a different message: whites were not to be trusted. He called on African Americans to be proud of their heritage and to set up strong communities without the help of white Americans. He promoted the establishment of a separate state for African Americans in which they could rely on themselves to provide solutions to their own problems. Violence was not the only answer, but violence was justified in self-defense. Blacks should achieve what was rightfully theirs "by any means necessary."
2. What was Malcolm X’s message? How did he believe blacks should live their lives?
Doc C- Malcolm X’s Assassination
Malcolm X electrified urban audiences with his eloquent prose and inspirational style. In 1963, he split with the Nation of Islam; in 1964, he made the pilgrimage to Mecca. Later that year, he showed signs of softening his stand on violence and even met with Martin Luther King Jr. to exchange remarks. What direction he might have ultimately taken is lost to a history that can never be written. As Malcolm X led a mass rally in Harlem on February 21, 1965, rival Black Muslims gunned him down.
3. How had Malcolm X changed his views? What happened to him?
Doc D- The Ballot or the Bullet- 1964- Malcolm X speech
“So it's time in 1964 to wake up. And when you see them coming up with that kind of conspiracy, let them know your eyes are open. And let them know you -- something else that's wide open too. It's got to be the ballot or the bullet. The ballot or the bullet. If you're afraid to use an expression like that, you should get on out of the country; you should get back in the cotton patch; you should get back in the alley. They get all the Negro vote, and after they get it, the Negro gets nothing in return. All they did when they got to Washington was give a few big Negroes big jobs. Those big Negroes didn't need big jobs, they already had jobs. That's camouflage, that's trickery, that's treachery, window-dressing. I'm not trying to knock out the Democrats for the Republicans. We'll get to them in a minute. But it is true; you put the Democrats first and the Democrats put you last.”
4. What is the message Malcolm X is trying to get across in this speech? Use textual references.