Martin & Malcolm SQs

Garvey organized the largest and most successful mass

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Garvey organized the largest and most successful mass movement of blacks in the history of the United States. Elijah Muhammad : The Nation of Islam was the most important influence on the life and thought of Malcolm X. Elijah Muhammad defined Malcolm’s religious commitment. Muhammad was the sole and absolute authority in defining the doctrine and practice of the Nation of Islam. His most important and controversial doctrine was his contention that whites were by nature evil. “They were snakes who were incapable of doing right, devils who would soon be destroyed by God’s righteous judgment. White people, therefore, were identified as the sole cause of black oppression.” ( p. 14) Muhammad had his own explanation of white oppression based off the myth of Yacob. Yacob was a weak individual in the black race who was a renegade black scientist. He created the white race causing all of the evil from their hands. This myth was important for Malcolm’s view that whites are all evil by nature. Since black people are by nature good an divine they must be separated from whites so, “they can avoid the latter’s hour of total destruction.” So the solution to problem is territorial separation either by blacks going to Africa or separate states in America. 4. What might Martin list as the most devastating effects of racism? What might Malcolm list as the most devastating effects of racism? Martin and Malcolm both saw the most devastating effect as the lack of self- respect for blacks. Martin saw this because of the separate but equal laws making blacks feel inferior (and also that the facilities weren’t actually equal) whereas 2
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Malcolm saw the self-hate that came from segregation as the worse part as an attack on human dignity. Malcolm’s advocacy came from owning one’s self as having dignity and worth as a black person. When Martin was six he had his first experience with the “color bar.” The father of a white friend told him that they could no longer play together because he was “colored.” This stunned Martin because he had never encountered the racial differences before. He went home and told his parents and they sat him down and told him about the “color problem” in America. They informed him about the history of slavery and segregation and how cruel whites have been towards blacks and some of the tragedies they and others had experienced. They told him, “Don’t let it make you feel you are not as good as white people. You are as good as anyone else and don’t you forget it.” Martin said, “I was greatly shocked, and from that moment on I was determined to hate every white person.” This sense of inferiority was the most devastation effect. Not being able to play in many public parks, attend white schools, or even sit at the counter and order a burger at a local diner. All these rules and regulations on Martin as a child made it hard to believe his parents when they told him that he was somebody. Even in the Letting From Birmingham Jail he talks about how painful it is to tell his daughter that she can’t
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