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Malcolm X was a prolific African-American Muslim minister, public speaker and civil rights activist. Although being credited with Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and Martin Luther King were different in many ways. Martin Luther King was raised with the power to speak and gained the passion at a young age. Malcolm X however, lost his father and his mother (who was admitted to a mental hospital) during his first 13 years on life. At age 20, Malcolm had been sentenced to eight to ten years in prison, this is where he found the Nation of Islam and had a good relationship with leader Elijah Muhammad. After being paroled, he was the main public speaker of the Nation of Islam and he had the power to persuade and influence his fellow African Americans.

Malcolm X had a lot of power, in which unlike Martin Luther King, his target audience did not want to wait for freedom, respect, justice and equality. Malcolm was all up for racial segregation, even if this meant all the African American's be taken to another country. While some may say it was bad (at the time), Malcolm's hate for the 'white devils' and his approach to self defend "by any means necessary" had all influenced and changed the people in the Northern and Western United States, a lot who like Malcolm, had the same troubled childhood and notorious criminal activity during their teenage years.
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I personally think Malcolm X had gained his power by his influence on the street life and knowledge he learned while his stay in prison. Although he did not have the same ideas as other civil right activists, Malcolm X knew that racism could not be stopped and he was preaching about 'plan B'. In a time and age where racial segregation was common in restaurants, toilets and hospitals, Malcolm's views were to simply help his fellow African Americans, who were still suffering the embarrassment and discrimination that Abraham Lincoln tried to stop.

The power of speech that Malcolm X had was right in your face, whether it was shocking or not, to prove a point you cannot hide the ugly truth. I think we would all like to wield the same kind of power in our lives, and although I missed out a lot of information, I could write pages on the speeches Malcolm X made while in the Nation of Islam and later on in life when he converted to a Sunni Muslim, he didn't create tales of freedom and dreams of justice, he gave hope and motivation for a race who had to wait.

"Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you're a man, you take it" - Malcolm X

Jacob Garces