The Sword And The Shield: The Revolutionary Lives Of Malcolm X And Martin King Jr.
This dual biography of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. upends longstanding preconceptions to transform our understanding of the twentieth century’s most iconic African American leaders.
Lyndon Johnson Championed Passage Of Legislation
Lyndon Johnson championed passage of legislation in honor of the martyred John F. Kennedy, who had urged the nation and Congress to embrace civil right’s as a “moral issue” in the months before his November 22,1963, assassination in Dallas Texas.
King’s presence among the spectator’s gallery added a buzz of excitement to the proceedings. He arrived in Washington as the single most influential civil right’s leader in the nation. His “I Have A Dream” speech during the previous summer’s March on Washington catapulted him into the ranks of America’s unelected yet no less official, moral and political leaders.
“Man Of The Year” For 1963
Time magazine named Martin Luther King Jr. “Man Of The Year” for 1963 and, unbeknownst to King at that moment, he stood on the cusp of being announced as a Nobel Prize recipient.
King emerged as the most well-known leader of the “Big Six” national civil right’s organizations, which include the NAACP’s Roy Wilkin’s, James Farmer of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the National Urban League’s Whitney Young, A. Philip Randolph of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC, pronounced “snick”) chairman and further Georgia Congressman John Lewis.
Malcolm X’s Presence In Senate Gallery
Also that day, Malcolm X’s presence in the Senate Gallery, on the other hand, stoked fear, surprise, and bewilderment among journalists and spectators. From 1957 to 1963, Malcolm served as the “national representative” of the Nation of Islam (NOI), the controversial religious group whose defiant resistance against white supremacy gained King and Malcolm X, and large following in the black community and fear and suspicion among white Americans.
The NOI forbade its members from actively engaging in political demonstrations, but Malcolm rejected these rules and inserted himself into the black freedom struggle on his own terms. He arrived in Washington on a mission to establish his political independence after a dramatic departure from the NOI.
Malcolm said: He set his political sights on eradicating “the racist cancer that is malignant in the body of America,”, a fight that would take him to the corridors of national power. Even as Malcolm sought to influence the center of American government alongside Martin Luther King Jr., he remained a political maverick whose bold truths upset some very civil right’s forces he now sought an alliance with.
Malcolm was a political renegade, unafraid to identify racial injustice in America as a systemic illness that required nothing less than the radical transformation of the political and racial status quo.
Martin Luther King Jr. VS. Malcolm X
Martin Luther King Jr. exited the visitor’s gallery in the afternoon to speak to reporters in a conference room, where Malcolm sat like a spectral figure on a rear sofa. Lately, King had been preoccupied with Malcolm.
During a recent interview with author Robert Penn Warren, King took umbrage with Malcolm labeling him as “soft.”, Just eight days later he now stood for the first time in the same room as a man many considered to be his evil twin.
King ignored Malcolm and announced plans for a national “direct action” campaign scheduled to begin in May.
But in the Senate building, Malcolm offered full-throated support for the pending legislation. The New York Times announced, “Malcolm X Backs Rights Bill” in a short article that introduced him as “the black nationalist’ leader.
By 1964, Malcolm X had turned black nationalism-a historic blend of cultural pride, racial unity, and political self-determination-into a bracing declaration of political independence for himself and large swaths of black folk.
This shift recognized mainstream democratic institutions, including the right to vote as crucial weapons in the struggle for black dignity and citizenship.
Book For Racial Injustices In 2020
This book is a wonderful history lesson for all of us in 2020, I felt that is so powerful and how to get the injustices portrayed against black and brown people (even today, 50 years later), that I had to write about it. The way that Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. came together for the better good of their people, to make change, to gain the right to vote, to be heard by the United States Congress is a love story in my opinion. The love that both of these men displayed for their people and how they both, in their own ways fought to change the way American’s think and respect the black people, is powerful and needs to be read, especially now in these times of upheaval in America.
I am proud to bring this book and it’it’s very human meaning of respect that these men, even though not displayed in public, had for one another and how they came together to change so many lives in 1963 and beyond.
To most Americans, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. represent contrasting ideals: self-defense vs. nonviolence, black power vs. civil right’s, the sword vs. the shield. The struggle for black freedom is wrought with the same contrasts. While nonviolent direct, action is remembered as an unassailable part of American democracy, the movement’s militancy is either vilified or erased outright.
In The Sword And Shield, Peniel E. Joseph upends these misconceptions and reveals a nuanced portrait of two men who, despite markedly different backgrounds, inspired and pushed each other throughout their adult lives. This is a strikingly revisionist biography, not only of Malcolm and Martin, but also of the movement and era they came to define.
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All The Best,