Comparing MLK Jr. And Malcolm X's Speech

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Civil rights activists will always be the heroes of the black people in America. MLK Jr. and

Malcolm X will be at the top of this list engraved in the hearts of black Americans. Neither of

these men out worked each other and that wasn't their intention either. The main goal of these

great men was to achieve political and social greatness for their fellow black people. MLK and

Malcolm X appeal to their audience's emotions and religious beliefs in their documents “A letter

from a Birmingham jail” and “The Ballot or the Bullet.”

King was a man of peace and he knew that two acts of violence would not result in the

outcome of friendship. King starts his letter off with “My Dear Fellow Clergymen”. King starts

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This strategy allows King to show his audience that he is

no different from them and they believe in the same ideals and religious interests.

The beginning of X’s speech had similar traits to the letter that King wrote. X’s first line

says “Mr. Moderator, Brother Lomax, brothers and sisters, friends and enemies: I just can't

believe everyone in here is a friend.” Even though X was a by any means necessary type of guy

he still wanted to appeal to his audience as friends. Also with this X is trying to make his

audience appeal to his reasons for blaming the white men. Another similarity in the two speeches

is when X says “I myself am a minister, not a Christian minister, but a Muslim minister.” This is

just like what King did in his letter with bringing up religion. However the slight contrast is how

King appeals to his audiences religious beliefs but X says “I'm not here tonight to discuss my


The differences in the documents outweigh the similarities in the rest of the ways that they

speak to the audience. An example is when King said “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice

everywhere.” King is establishing that there is a enemy of justice in America but he doesn’t
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