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The African-American civil rights movement of the early to mid-20thcentury was a defining event in the history of democracy in the United States. Countless individuals participated in this movement to undermine discrimination and segregation in American life, but two figures emerged who have in many ways come to represent the variety of approaches and ideologies at play in the movement: Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. The movement for civil rights was not necessarily a unitary one, and these two individuals embodied what were often very different approaches to and interpretations of the problems facing people of color in the United States.
Your assignment is to write an argumentative paper analyzing the thoughts of these two figures in order to gain insight into the mid-20thcentury movement for civil rights. Focus your thinking by considering these questions:
1. What events/experiences shaped the perspective on race relations held by Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X? What were the goals of each of these men, and what strategies and tactics did they support for achieving these goals?
2. In what ways were King and Malcolm X in opposition to one another? In what ways were their ideas or actions in alignment? Be sure to focus on specifics in analyzing their views on topics such as, but not limited to, religion, integration v. separation, economics, etc.
3. Did King or Malcolm X have a greater impact on the struggle over civil rights, or did they have an equal impact? Has our understanding of these men changed over time, and which one seems most influential today? Defend your position, and feel free to draw connections to present-day events if you wish.
You DO NOT need to talk about every document. Choose the documents that best support your argument. A lack of thorough engagement with the sources, however, will affect your grade.
Your paper should be 3-5 pages, 12-point Times New Roman font, 1-inch margins, double-spaced. You should base your paper primarily on evidence from the Howard-Pitney text, – NO OTHER OUTSIDE SOURCES. You should cite evidence using Chicago-style footnotes. Every word processing program will have an option to insert footnotes (in Word it is under References). This will be discussed in class, but here is a helpful website with more information: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/717/01/
Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and the Civil Rights Struggle of the 1950s and 1960s: A Brief History with Documents (The Bedford Series in History and Culture) 1st Edition Edition
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