History would have many believe that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X were polar opposites in tone and philosophy. On the surface, King’s insistence on nonviolent protests and civil disobedience starkly contrasted with Malcolm X’s ideas about separation between races and self-defense. But upon closer observation, the two civil rights icons have a number of similarities that made them allies against injustice.
For example, it is widely known that MLK’s father was Martin Luther King Sr., pastor at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta and head of the Atlanta chapter of the NAACP. What isn’t known is that Malcolm X’s father also was a preacher. Earl Little was a Baptist preacher who was active in Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association.
In the latest Atlanta Black Star original, we will examine other similarities between King and Malcolm X that history has failed to highlight.