The Man And Legend Essay

This essay has a total of 1238 words and 5 pages.

The Man And Legend


'Can We Attain an Equal America?';

Can we really achieve equality? I do believe it is possible but it is obvious that there
is no single answer to such a question. Everyone has their own opinion in regards to this
question, however those opinions are useless unless they are actually carried out.
According to W.E.B. DuBois racial equality can be achieved through the 'talented tenth,';
an African American elite that would be leaders and role models for the rest of the black
community. In The Future of the Race, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Cornel West address the
topic of Dubois' 1903 essay 'The Talented Tenth.'; When it comes to achieving equality
among all races I don't particularly agree with DuBois' idea of a 'Talented Tenth.'; I
believe that equality must be attained through a group effort and every individual should
make decisions and choices on their own. Often this is hard because people often have the
same beliefs that their parents have. And much too often these beliefs go against what is
required for this nation to achieve equality. Furthermore, in order to achieve equality I
believe that a greater effort must be given by those in the majority, since the majority
has control over many more things than minorities. West agrees when he states that every
major institution in American society-churches, universities, courts, academies of
science, governments, economies, newspapers, magazines, television, film, and
others-attempted to exclude black people from the human family in the name of white
supramissit ideology,'; say West. This being the case I can understand why we have trouble
moving forward towards equality. Above all, I believe that violent measures only cause
separation and should never happen in an effort for equality. Racism has been fought for
hundreds of years in this country and we have obviously made great progressions through
civil rights movements but I do not believe that it can be fully eliminated by any
means.(pg. 80)

People like Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., and Malcolm X have made critical
contributions to the civil rights movement, and their thoughts should be used as a road
map reward. For most of his life Malcolm X believed that the way to achieve equality in
America was to preach separatism between blacks and whites. These ideas of 'black
supremacy'; led many to believe that Malcolm X was an extremist. He believed that
non-violence was a trick by the whites to keep blacks in their places. In a speech he gave
in 1963, Malcolm X tells people that violence is key in achieving equality. Malcolm X
declares that 'if it is right for America to draft us and teach us how to be violent in
defense of the country, then isn't right for you and me to do whatever is necessary to
defend our own people right here in this country.';(89) Consequently, he believed that
only through revolution and force could blacks attain their rightful place in society. In
one of his speeches Malcolm X encouraged blacks to hate whites and to revolt against them.
He claims that 'revolution is bloody, revolution is hostile, revolution knows no
compromise, revolution overturns and destroys everything that gets in it way.'; However,
when he later broke free from the black Muslim movement began emphasizing unity and change
through black pride and respect for oneself rather than through hate and revenge. He told
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