Similarities Between Martin Luther King Jr And Malcolm X

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Nearly a century following the Emancipation Proclamation, African Americans in the South still faced a world of inequality, segregation, and other forms of oppression. “Jim Crow” laws, state and local laws enforcing racial segregation, were prime examples of this. In 1954, the US Supreme Court put in place the “separate but equal” doctrine that formed the basis for state sanctioned discrimination, drawing attention to the plight of African Americans. During the years that followed, activists used nonviolent protest and civil disobedience to bring about change. Among these leaders were Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, two prominent activists during this time. Their arguments, “Stride Towards Freedom” and “There’s No Such Thing as a Nonviolent …show more content…

When explaining why violence as a means of achieving equality is ineffective, he states that violence “creates bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers,” and continues by alluding the Bible: “A voice echoes through time saying to every potential Peter, ‘Put up your sword.” MLK’s use of this device in this quote is effective as his audience was most likely predominantly Christian so this not only makes his argument relatable but also gives them an example of what each and every “potential Peter” should strive to do. Next, when explaining why violence shall not be used in the fight for equality, he alludes Exodus, stating that “the old law of an eye for an eye leaves everybody blind.” This is effective in that it explains why violence ends in chaos that will provide absolutely no real benefits to anything or anyone. Because it is an allusion to the Bible, this helps to give the audience an example of why this is by using something they know very well. Near the end of the text, MLK alludes the Bible yet again, stating that “religion reminds every man that he is his brother’s keeper.” This is effective because it encourages the audience to solidify their sense of faith and to act according to their true beliefs. He is reminding the audience of the moral responsibility they have as humans. As shown, MLK’s use of allusions helps the audience relate his argument and points to something they are familiar with, this helping them to take example and inspiration from the things MLK alludes

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