Over the different phases of history there have been various personalities and people who have roused above the rest in order to make a difference in which the society operates. They have rebelled against the norms and values of the society in order to prove that their perspective is just and therefore, they deserve to be heard as this is their fundamental right.
These were the people whom we can actually look forward to today and learn the art of leadership as they did it. They were the ones, who provided people at that time with a direction they need to move in order to claim their rights, and this direction and guidance that they gave decades ago still serves as a beacon of hope for them even in the most desperate and despair times.
During the course of this discussion we will be conducting a critical analysis of the ways in which Sexual Offences Act 2003 intends to cover all the different legal aspects and the ways in which the shortcomings that prevailed prior to this have been addressed.
During the course of this discussion we will be assessing the lives and works of three different individuals who with their relentless work and dedication towards their objective and motive that they intended to achieve pushed all conventional boundaries of determination, dedication, devotion and perseverance to new limits and summits. For this, three influential people and their works have been chosen that will be assessed during the different segments of this discussion.
The people chosen include Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and Dorothy Day. The works of these three people that have been chosen include the autobiography of Malcolm X, Letter from Birmingham jail by Martin Luther King and the novel named Long Loneliness by Dorothy Day.
Malcolm X and his Autobiography
One of the key features that can be found as being similar in all these three works is the importance of religion and the teachings that any religion imparts to its followers. Each of the ways in which this particular aspect of religious beliefs and concepts has been discussed in the works of these three people will be highlighted and analyzed during the course of this discussion.
Considering the autobiography of Malcolm X first, it is important to state here that his early life especially childhood was plagued by most horrifying incidents which included the brutal killing of his father when he was just six years old and at the age of thirteen his mother was admitted into a mental hospital. As a result of such incidents which also included the burning of his home, his entire childhood was spent in different foster homes.
At the age of 20 he was sent to prison for larceny and breaking and entering. It was during his stay in prison where he became a member of the Nation of Islam. Since his childhood was affected by the most atrocious and brutal incidents, there was no such thing as socialization or social learning in his life (Sales, 1994). The only way he thought as surviving in the society was to steal and snatch things from people who possess it.
Moreover, because of the least importance of any social institutions in his life, he was completely secluded and marginalized from any type of religious training or socialization that could actually provide him with a light and guidance regarding the religion that he needs to follow and implement upon for a safe, secure and peaceful life. In his biography he has very openly stated that the light of religion and religious teachings entered his life when he was in prison and it was at that time when he decided to become a part of the Nation of Islam. Malcolm X has provided credit to National of Islam for purifying his life from drugs through a rehabilitation program and other crimes.
He was able to rise quickly among as one of the most influential leaders of the movement through his public speaking and controversial past. However, despite all hurdles he stood firm with his aims and motives regarding the promotion of black supremacy, advocated the separation of black and white Americans, and rejected the civil rights movement’s emphasis on integration. However, at the same time, it is also important to mention here that along with getting religiously enlightened by the National of Islam and its leaders, Malcolm was also able to differentiate between rights and wrongs about which he was being told regarding the actions of his organization.
He was able to distinguish between the actual and genuine teachings of the religion from its militantly imposed version that accentuated upon the dissemination of extremist and radicalized. He decided to part ways from National of Islam after its teachings and mode of operations began to become increasingly radicalized. He believed that the movement was manipulating the cause of religious for their personal gains and interests due to which he became disillusioned with the leader of the movement Elijah Mohammad.
Malcolm was finally able to find solace when he embraced Sunni Islam which he thought as the correct and the most authentic version of religion that emphasized upon the ways in which human beings can be provided with their basic rights as well as the dignity they have been looking for in the racially segregated and discriminated environment of United States at that time. It was after performing of pilgrimage due to which he was able to disavow the concept of racism after observing that people from all different kind of caste, race, creed and cultural background gathered under one roof to pray five times a day. Hence, it can be said that the initiative that Malcolm X took mainly in the form of efforts and movement for the restoration of the basic rights for the African American people were mainly an outcome of his religious influences and the stance that he thought was right and in accordance with the fundamental rules that are guarded by the principles of divinity.
Martin Luther King and Birmingham Jail Letter
The second important personality that we will be looking in our discussion is the influential and the most respected and reputable leader from the Civil Rights Movement, Martin Luther King. Since the scope of our discussion is largely restricted to religious beliefs and thoughts of these personalities it is important to consider an importance incident that took place with Martin Luther King when he was imprisoned in Birmingham jail in Alabama.
Important aspect of his stay in this prison cell is the letter that he wrote from a solitary confinement in Birmingham. King was arrested while participating in anti-segregation on the grounds that he did not had a parade permit. The laws of segregation and their policies were a part of the Jim Crow system through which black or African American people were segregated in schools, restaurants, bathrooms, etc. for blacks and whites that existed far beyond the era of slavery, especially in the American South. The letter that he wrote from the Birmingham jail addresses the different objections and criticisms that have been raised against him regarding his beliefs on segregation and discriminatory by other religious groups (Krenn, 1998). He openly said that there are different groups who are trying to manipulate religion through the dissemination of radicalized teachings related to religion that is actually brainwashing people and forcing them into things that is against the fundamental principles of religion as well as humanitarian grounds.
Moreover, with the help of this letter he is able to address religious leaders on an effective scale and openly talk about the ways in which they can become awareness among their followers regarding the accurate teachings and beliefs that their religion wants them to follow and pursue. This has been done by Luther by highlighting the religious services of prominent and respected religious figures and icons.
Dorothy Day and The Long Loneliness
Last, but not the least, it is also important to ways in which the work of Dorothy Day and her work in the form of her autobiography named as ‘The Long Loneliness’. The autobiography basically sheds light on two fundamental aspects of her personality (Dorothy, 1979). These are mainly related to her social activism as well as spiritual pilgrimage through which she was finally able to find solace by becoming a devout Christian and dedicating her life to the ways in which she can improve and purify her life through the implementation of fundamental principles and ideas in Christianity.
She was particularly known for her practical application of different Christianity principles and the ways in which they could be used on a social scale. She believed that the main purpose of the Church and its existence must be to help poor and needy people in uplifting their social status through its humanitarian efforts. In her autobiography she has also discussed concepts that she learned related to anarchy and extreme poverty from Peter Kropotkin who promoted a belief in belief in her regarding the cooperation in contrast to Darwin’s concept of survival.
With the help of these learning and understanding she was able to expand her knowledge related to social conscious work to new levels and explore new horizons and avenues through which she was able to have a background of her future and at the same time make sure that she is able to do something concrete and cohesive for the society through her social activism initiatives.
- Dorothy Day (1979) Therese: A Life of Therese of Lisieux, Templegate Publishing
- Krenn, Michael L. (1998). The African American Voice in U.S. Foreign Policy Since World War II. Taylor & Francis. p. 29.
- Sales Jr., William W. (1994). From Civil Rights to Black Liberation: Malcolm X and the Organization of Afro-American Unity. Boston: South End Press.