American Literature B- Unit Five Short Story *The Story of an hour*

“Stride Toward Freedom” by Martin Luther King Jr.
“Necessary To Protect Ourselves” by Malcolm X
Questions-Pg. 304
 1. Which two methods of responding to oppression does
King oppose, and which does he support?
 King opposes violence and acquiescence (agreement or
consent by silence or without objection; compliance).
Problems with acquiescence. It makes people part of an evil
system. It suggests oppression is moral. It can’t win respect.
 He supports nonviolent resistance. Violence does not solve
problems in the long run; its immoral; it leads to destruction,
not understanding
Questions-Pg. 304
 3. Of the reasons King favors the third response to
oppression, which reason do you find the most
persuasive, and why?
 That nonviolent resistance is noble and attracts people
to a cause is persuasive.
 An important part of waging a successful campaign is
winning support.
Questions Pg. 307
 “Necessary to Protect Ourselves” by Malcolm X
 1. What is your response to the ideas Malcolm X expresses
in this interview?
 May agree that people who are oppressed in a society should
stop at nothing to fight for their civil rights, while others may
feel that violence is an inappropriate response to any
 Comprehension Check
 According to Malcolm X, when is violence justifiable?
 Violence is justifiable when citizens must protect themselves
from injustice because the government has failed to do so.
 In explaining what to expect from African Americans, to
what historical event does Malcolm X refer?
 Malcolm X refers to the American Revolution
Questions Pg. 307
 2. What are the main positions Malcolm X takes in
this interview, and what are his supporting reasons?
 Malcolm X takes the position that people must protect
themselves when their government fails to do so.
 He argues that it is only fair and understandable that
African Americans try to protect themselves and stand
up for their rights as other groups of people have done.
 He states that in the long run, this is the only way that
African Americans will earn respect as equal human
Questions Pg. 307
 3. Malcolm X compares the oppression of African
Americans with that of American colonists under
King George III. He believes that “it is only fair to
expect” African Americans to react to tyranny as
the revolutionaries did. Do you agree?
 Agree: The two situations are comparable and that
violence is a justifiable means to an end.
 Disagree: Many African Americans followed Dr. King’s
leadership, refusing to resort to violence.
Questions Pg. 307
 4. Based on these two selections, which leader do you
regard as more persuasive-King or Malcolm X?
 King-more persuasive because of his highly moral stance
and his carefully reasoned arguments.
 Malcolm X-more persuasive because of his practicality
and his call for self-respect.
 5. Which leader do you think is more revolutionary-
King or Malcolm X?
Questions Pg. 307
 6. In your view, are the similarities between King and
Malcolm X more important, or are the differences?
 Although King and Malcolm X have different views
about how to achieve civil rights, their beliefs that
society must change and that African Americans must
be relentless in their pursuit of equality are similar.
 Or, that King’s and Malcolm X’s views about the use of
violence set them apart.
Questions Pg. 307
 7. Both King and Malcolm X fought for justice for African
Americans in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Name political,
religious, or social causes that people are fighting for in the
United States today. What are the most effective methods
used to promote these causes?
 8. Based on “Speech in the Virginia Convention,” what do
you imagine Patrick Henry might have said about King’s
advocacy of nonviolent resistance?
 Patrick Henry would have rejected nonviolent resistance as
ineffective when the oppressor is armed and ready to use

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