Segregation and the Civil Rights Movement Questions and Answers

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Which method in the Civil Rights Movement was more effective as an agent of change; that of Martin Luther King Jr or that of Malcolm X?

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Most historians would say that King’s methods were more effective than those of Malcolm X.  In a social movement, the people who want change need to be able to appeal to those who are undecided.  In this case, that meant that African Americans needed to get whites who were not solidly in favor of segregation on their side.  Whites were the vast majority in the country and therefore blacks needed white support for their movement.  King’s philosophy of brotherhood and of integration and his commitment to nonviolence were much more likely to win the sympathies of undecided whites.  Therefore, his method was a more effective agent of change. 

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