Martin & Malcolm

This picture was taken during the one and only time these two great men met. No one knows what exactly was said between them and so we are left wondering what was shared in that moment where their destinies briefly crossed. Was it a friendly exchange or was it one of tension and disagreement? We know that they were drastically at odds during most of their lives, however both went through monumental shifts in idealogy in the final stages of their lives.  Malcolm X clearly began moving away from his radical ideology which endorsed hatred of white people, to embracing all people who were willing to struggle for equality. On the other hand, Martin Luther King became more aggressive, realizing that the injustices and racism in the North were more resistant to justice and equality than he originally thought.  Many have even suggested that the ideological trajectory of the two men would have eventually met in the middle had their lives not been ended so abruptly (both where murdered at the age of 39).

I personally appreciate both men.  I love that Malcolm X was able to affirm his humanity and manhood in the face white supremacy and hatred. He did so with courage and strength, which is why he has and will continue to be an important icon in the black community.  I love what Martin Luther King did and stood for.  When I imagine someone taking serious the life, teachings, and death of Jesus Christ I think of Martin Luther King Jr., because of his commitment to peace, justice, nonviolence, and love for all humanity even to the point of death. Both the Church and all of American society are indebted to him for his example and unwanted progress he accomplished.

Freestyle with me, what are Martin and Malcolm’s significance to you…

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One comment

  1. notesalongthepath · May 8, 2010

    Hi Drew,
    The only thing I knew about Malcolm X was that he hated white people and what we did to black people–I was never drawn to his message like I was to MLK, Jr’s message and spirit. It’s good to know that they moved toward each other and that makes me wish they hadn’t both been murdered, that they could’ve lived and worked together. We can’t always know or understand God’s will, though, so we have to learn to accept and work with what is. Still, it’s hard not to wonder, ‘What if?’ Thanks for sharing the picture and the history. Very interesting, indeed. Take care, Pam B

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