Interview with Coretta Scott King

Mrs. King can you share with us some of the points of, of agreement and disagreement between your husband and Malcolm X?


I think that Martin and Malcolm agreed, ah, in terms of the ultimate goal of the freedom struggle. I don't think there was any difference there. I think it was basically one of strategy. Ah, my husband believed to accomplish the goal of freedom and justice and equality, ah, that, ah, it was necessary to use non-violent means. Ah, particularly in a society such as ours where we were 10 percent of the population. And, ah, he believed finally that non-violence was the only alternative that oppressed people had in, in this kind of a society. I think Malcolm felt that, ah, ah, people had a right to use any means necessary, even violence, ah, to achieve goals of their freedom. And I think that was the basic difference, ah, Martin I don't think ever spoke, ah, ah, publicly against Malcolm in any form. I think Malcolm did against Martin unfortunately. But that was because Martin was committed to non-violence, and non-violence, ah, seeks not to humiliate or do, ah, ah, depersonalize human beings but to ennoble human beings, human personality. But he never held that against him. They, ah, I think they respected each other. Martin had the greatest respect for Malcolm and he agreed with him in, and, in terms of the feeling of racial pride and the fact that Black people should, ah, believe in themselves and see themselves as, as lovable and beautiful. Ah, the fact that, ah, Martin had, had a strong feeling of connectiveness to Africa and so did Malcolm. Ah, I think if he had lived, ah, and if the two had lived, ah, I am sure that at some point they would have come closer together and would have been a very strong force in the total struggle for liberation and self determination of Black people in our society.