Years after the deaths of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X, the two men still remain fixed images in the American consciousness: Martin Luther King, Jr., an advocate of nonviolence, delivering his “I Have a Dream” speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and Malcolm X, the black nationalist, encouraging African Americans to fight racial oppression “by any means necessary.” Were these two men really ideological opposites? Did they share any common ground?
Document: X, Malcolm 1925-1965 (Muhammad's Mosque No. 7). Letter to Martin Luther King, Jr., 31 July 1963
- Classroom Activity: Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X: A Common Solution?
- Encyclopedia: Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X
- Document Analysis Worksheet
- Clayborne Carson’s article “The Unfinished Dialogue of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X”
- Carson, Clayborne, ed. The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr., Chapter 25, “Malcolm X”