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Comparisonof the American Civil Rights Movement and the Black Power Revolt

TheAmerican Civil Rights Movement emerged in the 1950s. It was a massprotest faction that was against racial discrimination andsegregation of Africans in the US, particularly the Southern region.Centuries-long Slavery and racial oppression against African slavesimpelled the movement. The movement through non-violent protests wasable to stop the segregation of public facilities on the basis ofrace. It was victorious in its quest for equality with the passing oflegislations between 1964 and 1965, which ensured equal opportunityfor African- Americans (Kirk80).However, some young black activists like Stokely Carmichael were nothappy with the movement’s non-violent policy and rejected Dr.Martin Luther King’s patience and courage and turned militant hencethe emergence of the Black Power movement (SCOTT10).They viewed the struggle as a liberation movement that was not onlyfighting for civil rights reforms but also confronting the political,cultural and economic consequences brought about by past racialsuppression.

StokelyCarmichael worked with Luther King in the quest for equality and iscredited with promoting the Black Power concept (SCOTT7).He was frustrated with King’s policy of non-violence and the slowprogress of the struggle. The acts of humiliation and violenceagainst activists by the white police without recourse, prompted himto become radical. He is vividly remembered for his confrontationaland militant views and he frequently gave witty speeches that wereslashing. Martin Luther King Jr. on the other hand preferrednonviolent resistance and discouraged violence at all costs. Thenonviolence strategy he believed would win the support of the publicby contrasting the movement’s peacefulness and the police brutalityagainst the movement (Farleyn.p).

MartinLuther can be described as intelligent, outspoken, determined,dedicated and righteous. He was not afraid to speak out his mind andat some point even describing the University as a whore andbeerhouse(Farleyn.p).However, as much as he expressed himself without fear or favor, hedid not at any moment support violence as a form of expression. Kingreferred to black power as an ill informed selection of words (SCOTT7).He did not support the black separatism doctrine that was prominentlyarticulated by Malcom X and religiously supported by the youngactivists.

MalcolmX was intelligent, more open minded and flexible. His open mindednessis evident with his acceptance and recognition of errors committed,particularly in critical thinking (Kirk82).This is notable when he admits that he was a racist in some way. Hesaid that one can no longer subscribe to racial discrimination unlessthey have subscribed to it initially. In my view, Malcolm X is trueto himself unlike most of the Civil rights activist/leaders. He doesnot advocate for certain doctrines for support but for what thepolicies mean to the people. Similar to Martin Luther, he alsobelieved in books/education as a way of eradicating illiteracy.Overall his determination is similar to that of other activists suchas Angela Davis who advocated for communism and fought for the rightsof prisoners. Most if not all of the activists, showed an undyingdedication and determination to their particular ideologies.

Conclusively,racial discrimination is detrimental to a society and in general acountry. When a part of the populace feels inadequate, they cannotlive to their full potential and this translates to talents beingunutilized. Every person in a country should have equal opportunitiesand it is the dream of all those activists who put their lives in theline to fight for it.


Farley,Frank. `Martin Luther King, Jr., a Hero for All Time` p., 2014. Web. 27 Jul. 2014.

Kirk,John. `The Long Road to Equality for African-Americans`. HomeSunday,2013 : 80-98. Web. 27 Jul. 2014.

Scott,Oscar.‘A Tumultuous Time, Captured by Outsiders’ p., 2014. Web. 27 Jul. 2014.