I have to choose a personality who played significant roles in the Civil Rights movements during 1960s to the 1970s and I'm not sure which one is the best one to study: Stokely Carmichael, Tommie...

I have to choose a personality who played significant roles in the Civil Rights movements during 1960s to the 1970s and I'm not sure which one is the best one to study: Stokely Carmichael, Tommie Smith, John Carlos, Malcolm X, Bobby Seale, Huey Newton. Which one would be the most interesting one to write a newspaper article and eulogy about?

Asked on by lazaa

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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You could not go wrong with any of these choices.  They are all excellent topics to focus upon in terms of detailing their impact on the Civil Rights time period as well as constructing a piece about their legacy to the power of change.  However, I think that Malcolm X is one the most compelling figure of the time period because his positions were so nuanced and intricate.  Malcolm X's advocacy of self- defense and advocacy for African- American consciousness added another layer of depth to the Civil Rights Movement.  For many, Malcolm's positions spoke to individuals who lacked a voice in the movement.  Malcolm X was able to provide a sense of power to those who felt powerless in the American social setting of the 1960s.  

At the same time,  Malcolm X's contribution to the need for African- Americans to develop an inward focus in building their own communities and establish their own sense of autonomy and power became something that Dr. King, himself, echoed in the late 1960s.  In this, Malcolm was ahead of his time in recognizing the need to generate a sustainable economically and socially viable presence in one's own community.   Any newspaper article on Malcolm X could focus on his own life and how his own biography became a rallying cry for so many people of color and how his legacy was started in the Civil Rights Movement but is seen today in how African- Americans, and people of color in general, recognize the need to work both within their community and outside of it in order to develop a sustainable sense of autonomy and power.

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