Compare and Contrast

A “Homemade Education”, by Malcolm X, and “letter from Birmingham Jail”, by Martin Luther King, have applied rhetorical techniques including logic, emotion and credibility. According to the two books, they were both in jail and point out many atrocities and hatreds committed by white men against non white ones. Malcolm X was deeply concerned about the well-being of the Negro community in the United States of America.


The two books bring out the struggle of the oppressed community against the unfair rule and control by white Americans. For example, there were the brutal and inhumane police dealings with the unarmed Negro demonstrators. Malcolm X, through vast knowledge acquired after reading Elijah Mohammad’s books while in jail, brings out clearly the struggle and opposition of the Indians’ to the whites’ brutality and enslavement. He also point out that Chinese hate whites for being masterminds of the opium war, which disintegrate China into various states like Hong Kong. Just like Martin Luther King, who complains about the clergy, he openly criticizes them for being insensitive in the interpretation of a violent demonstration. The clergy did not see how the police acted in a brutal manner against unarmed Negroes and hence did not criticize them.

Malcolm X points out the unfairness practiced by the United Nations, which is expected to protect and enforce equality across all races. He alleges that UN should try to bring world order along racial lines. Similarly, Martin Luther criticizes Christians in US for supporting unjust application of law by condemning the Negroes who were pushing for their rights. It is clear that the two books describe the suffering of non whites at the hand of white Americans.

The two authors aimed at informing the larger community which had been oppressed over the years about the inhumane acts of the Whites towards them. Their aim was to offer an awakening point to Blacks, Asians, Indians and Chinese. They also informed them about consequences faced by oppressed when they stand up for their rights. They encouraged them not to fear but to continue to stand up for their rights.

Despite the close similarities between the two books, there are several cases where they differ. Malcolm X expressed his dissatisfaction through his writing; while on the other hand, Martin Luther King moved to write to clergy and condemned them for criticizing Negroes. Martin Luther was also involved in leading Christian based movement to oppose the degradation of blacks. Malcolm X was a Black Muslim preacher who only documented whites’ brutality against black countrymen. He also got information about atrocities when he was in prison. On the other hand, Martin Luther had a direct contact with brutality in the United States.

In conclusion, Martin Luther king and Malcolm X are great American activists who fought for human rights when it was hard to be accepted. The two were prominent writer of their time who captured issues affecting people, in their literature. “Homemade Education” and “letter from Birmingham Jail”, by Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, respectively are some of their literature works which covered the inhumane oppression and brutality perpetrated by whites against other races in United States. As Malcolm X, was involved through writing and preaching, Martin Luther was involved in both writing and passive activities to fight for equality and human rights to other races. He formed Christian groups through which he used to air his views. They both encouraged the people not to give up in fighting for their rights, telling them that even if they do not benefit, their children will have a better live.