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Frequent Contributor
Posts: 27
Registered: ‎12-10-2007
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History of Malcolm X and MLK

Hello All,

A discussion was ongoing on the other thread and I thought that it may be interesting to have it be in its own thread. By all means, please feel free to comment in both areas. Of course, please add on any questions or suggestions that you may have.

On p. 551, Dick Gregory notes an interesting concept of the 60s:

"We marched. We were beaten. People died but we did not fail. Never in the history of the planet has any group made the progress in forty years that African-Americans have. It's the power of the movement. ... I'll tell you who saw it coming. They did. The redneck sheriffs and the KKK. This was their nightmare."

In looking back on the 60s, is this the heritage of MLK, Malcolm X, or both? Were the two, arguably communicative and political counterparts, required for this historical progress to be made? What aspects of both of these leaders' heritage, good and bad, been forgotten? How shall we view their impact? Steele has some pretty intense words about his transformation and subsequent conclusions since the movement "was undergoing some profound changes away from Dr. King's nonviolent philosophy" (p. 320; see pp. 320 - 329).

How shall we view this impact?

Looking forward,

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 83
Registered: ‎06-27-2007
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Re: History of Malcolm X and MLK

Scot et al - The dichotomy of MLK and Malcolm X makes us wonder how fundamentally different they were or how much a part of the same. Much of African-American history is about those who want to change in the system (Booker T Washington, MLK) versus those outside (W. E. B. DuBois, Malcolm X). It's fair to ask whether the 60's was leading to true equality that was previously denied African-Americans or whether it was leading to, as Steele describes, a form of politicized identity. I suspect that Gregory and most of us were satisfied with any of the dramatic progress that was made in the 60's. And yet the matters of racial income inequality, affirmative action, de facto geographic segregation, etc. that exist today may indicate that not all was addressed.