Martin Luther King was born in Atlanta in January of 1929. He was born into a middle class family. His father was a minister and very involved in black leadership groups. Martin Luther King was a very smart as a child. By the age of five he could talk as well as an adult. He could recite bible versus perfectly and sing hymns with no faults. He was a remarkable child. He was encouraged for greatness by his parents and his grandmother. He was constantly told he would make a difference. This caused a lot of pressure for a young child and a lot to live up to.
Malcolm X on the other hand was a few years older born around 1925. He was born in Lansing Michigan. His father was a very dark skinned man while his mother had a very light complexion. His mother's father was a white man who raped her mother. Malcolm took many features from his mother's father. He had the lightest complexion of all his siblings and red highlights in his hair. His father thought that was great for his sake realizing at the time it was a "white man's world", however his mother hated the fact he looked like a man she hated. Malcolm family was very poor and his father was killed when Malcolm was six. White vigilantes killed his father. His mother was hit hard by the stress of everything and was soon institutionalized and the children were placed in foster homes.
Both of the boys grew up with anger at being segregated by the whites. They both felt the pressure of being a young black male. They were treated different from the whites. Martin was more aware of this than Malcolm until Mr. Ostrowski shattered Malcolm's dreams in the seventh grade. Malcolm had no real idea of what being black in that time meant, because he had been placed in a white detention home in a white society. He thought it was normal to be treated differently and called "nigger."
Martin was an angry young man at first, but he mellowed throughout school. However Malcolm was opposite he was mellow, but as he got older he went pretty wild. Malcolm even did jail time which began his more famous career of goal. He did a lot of studying in jail and decided he wanted to make a difference.
Martin tried to end the discrimination by love, redemption, and integration definitely not violence. Malcolm X however at the same time was seeking a change by violence. He used violent self defense, black supremacy, and a total black seperation. Martin wanted a united country. So this was one of the major differences of the two gentlemen.
Although the men did not agree with one another on this issue they both respected one another. They in a way tried to help each other without coming right out and doing it. They did it in round about ways. For example Malcolm X happened to be at the same place as Martin one time and he said that he came to help Martin by showing the public the other alternative.
I believe that Martin Luther King Jr. was the most effective in his journey. I don't believe you can make a difference by creating violence among a country. Even in today's society we celebrate a holiday devoted to Martin Luther King Jr. We do discuss Malcolm X in our history and in other lessons, but Martin really touched a lot of people's lives through his speeches and his mind and he never use violence.