Response Paper Prompt #2:
“Malcolm X and Black Nationalism in the Black Freedom/Civil Rights Era”
Prof. Adrian Gaskins
DUE: Tuesday 5 May 2015
For this assignment, imagine yourself as a young college student at Miami in the early-to-mid-1960s considering doing volunteer work for some aspect of “The Movement.” You are being asked to decide whether or not you would accept an offer to work with Malcolm X’s wing of the struggle (Black Nationalism/Black Power v. the more MLK-like Civil Rights/Integration). You will want discuss how X represented a distinct alternative vision for combating racial injustice for his followers and it fits in the long struggle of the Black Freedom Movement. In particular, you should address what Black Nationalism offered that Civil Rights did not, and also his critique of class as a fundamental aspect of racial inequality in making your decision. While not making an extended comparison to the distinguishing features of Malcolm X’s leadership from that of Martin Luther King, Jr’s in the Civil Rights Era of the Black Freedom Movement, you can certainly use MLK’s vision and approach as a brief point of comparison/departure.
You should craft your response paper in the form of a 3-4 page (double-spaced) letter. In it, you will discuss (meaning, have a thesis and three pieces of evidence for each) at least two reasons why you accept or do not accept an invitation to work for Malcolm X’s Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU). The address is below, along with a website for searching out additional information.
Organization of Afro-American Unity
2090 Seventh Avenue
New York 27, N.Y.