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Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X grew up in different environments Malcolm X and Martin Luther Kings childhoods had powerful influences on the men and their speeches The early backgrounds of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King were largely responsible for the distinct differences in responses to American racism King was raised in a comfortable middle-class family where education was stressed while X came from and underprivileged home X was a self-taught man who received little schooling and rose to greatness on his own intelligence and determination Both men ultimately became towering icons of contemporary African-American culture and had a great influence on African Americans Malcolm X was born on May 19 1925 and was raised in a completely different atmosphere than King an atmosphere where fear anger and bitterness were planted Malcolm X was brought up in an atmosphere of violence The Ku Klux Klan set his house of fire causing his father to die His mother later suffered a nervous breakdown and his family was split up X was haunted by this early nightmare for most of his life From then on he was driven by hatred and his desire for revenge During his childhood Malcolm X suffered not only from abuse by whites but also from domestic violence His father beat his mother and both of them abused their children His mother was forced to raise eight children during the depression After his mother had a mental breakdown the children were all placed in foster homes Malcolm Xs resentment was increased as he suffered through the damages of integrated schooling Although an intelligent student who shared the dream of being a lawyer with Martin Luther King Jr Malcolm Xs anger and disillusionment caused him to drop out of school He started to use cocaine and set up a burglary ring to support his expensive habit Malcolm Xs hostility and promotion of
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