Segregation and the Civil Rights Movement Questions and Answers

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Why was Malcolm X less significant than Martin Luther King Jr.?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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If one were to build a case that Malcolm X was less significant than Dr. King, I think that one aspect would be based on national significance.  While both leaders were known around the nation, Dr. King willingly had linked himself to the movement.  He was willing to embody the aspirations of the Civil Rights Movement, and became the voice that both people of color and White individuals embraced.  When Dr. King delivers his "I Have a Dream Speech" at the March on Washington, his voice becomes synonymous with the Civil Rights Movement.  It is a voice that spoke to both White Americans and African- Americans.  This is something that Malcolm X was never able to do.  Partially by design in the early stages of his participation in the movement, Malcolm X did not seek to be the universal voice of the movement that Dr. King was. 

Another reason why Malcolm X might be seen as being less significant to Dr. King could also be within the content of both messages.  Malcolm X spoke from a...

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