James Baldwin and Malcolm X.

Essay by XxCrisisxXCollege, UndergraduateA+, April 2003

download word file, 4 pages 3.0

Throughout the history of the United States, communities of all races and religions have been bombarded with activists and modern-day intellectuals expressing there points of view on the plagues of society today. Some of these activists are independent soft spoken conservatives while others are wild ill-willed extremist trying to press for there cause no matter what harm. The late James Baldwin and Malcolm X are two prominent figures in Civil Rights Era. Both pressed for the equal rights of blacks and suffered much travesty in their lives. Many believe that Baldwin's and Malcolm X's racial views were radically different from one another. This, however, is not the case. Both were true revolutionaries that saw a future where blacks and whites could live in harmony.

James Baldwin grew up as one of many sons from a poor African American family and was pressed to become a preacher like his father. Throughout his childhood, like most blacks, he suffered much prejudice because of his skin color.

However, this only made him stronger. On the day of his fathers funeral, he witnessed the great Harlem race riot. This act of violence and racial tension profoundly shaped his views and persona of the relationship between blacks and whites.

James Baldwin diagnoses American society's hatred, and teaches ways to see and think that can move readers in a positive direction. After witnessing the race riot in Harlem, Baldwin comes to the realization that "Hatred, which could destroy so much, never failed to destroy the man that hated and this was an immutable law" (67). Baldwin knew that the emotion of hate alone would could not sustain a society. Blacks and whites can not rely on the raw emotion of hate to bring them individual freedoms that they deserve. When one relies on hate as their...