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April 27, 2019 1st Anniversary Wishes 5 comments

Enjoy the best Malcolm X Quotes at BrainyQuote. Quotations by Malcolm X, American Activist, Born May 19, 1925. Share with your friends.

One of the most influential African Americans in history, Malcolm X was a human rights activist and an American Muslim minister.

Due to his father’s civil rights activism, Malcolm’s family was subjected to frequent harassment that ended up tragically — his father was killed, his mother was committed to a mental institution since she never recovered from the grief over her husband and Malcolm and his brothers were placed in foster homes.

In 1946 he was arrested for larceny and was sentenced to 10 years in prison, but was granted parole after serving seven years. During that time, Malcolm embraced the ideology of black nationalism.

Charismatic and a naturally gifted orator, Malcolm became an influential leader of the Nation of Islam, but decided to get out after his mentor, the leader of NOI, had deeply disappointed him by violating many of his own teachings.

The experiences he had after leaving NOI turned Malcolm X from an angry man into one who believed that peaceful resolution is the key to resolving America’s discrimination problems. Sadly, not long after his epiphany, he was assassinated.

Here are 20 Malcolm X quotes to inspire you to take control of your life.

You’re not to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or says it.

There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance next time.

Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.

A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything.

We cannot think of being acceptable to others until we have first proven acceptable to ourselves.

If you have no critics you’ll likely have no success.

Don’t be in a hurry to condemn because he doesn’t do what you do or think as you think or as fast. There was a time when you didn’t know what you know today.

Stumbling is not falling.

If you’re not ready to die for it, put the word ‘freedom’ out of your vocabulary.

We need more light about each other. Light creates understanding, understanding creates love, love creates patience, and patience creates unity.

The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.

Truth is on the side of the oppressed.

You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.

So early in my life, I had learned that if you want something, you had better make some noise.

The ability to read awoke inside of me some long dormant craving to be mentally alive.

A wise man can play the part of a clown, but a clown can’t play the part of a wise man.

All of our experiences fuse into our personality. Everything that ever happened to us is an ingredient.

I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it’s for or against.

Children have a lesson adults should learn, to not be ashamed of failing, but to get up and try again.

You have to wake the people up first, then you’ll get action.




Flavia Medrut

Flavia Medrut is a freelance writer, researcher and part-time psychologist. She believes music, long walks and a good sense of humor are imperative in keeping one’s sanity. Kindness and kittens make her heart melt.

11 Malcolm X Quotes That Are Eerily Relevant In 2018. Posted February 21, 2018. NewsOne Staff Written By NewsOne Staff. Posted February.

Malcolm X: 10 Inspiring Quotes From the Minister & Human Rights Activist

malcolm x quote

Who Was Malcolm X?

Malcolm X was a minister, human rights activist and prominent black nationalist leader who served as a spokesman for the Nation of Islam during the 1950s and 1960s. Due largely to his efforts, the Nation of Islam grew from a mere 400 members at the time he was released from prison in 1952 to 40,000 members by 1960. 

A naturally gifted orator, Malcolm X exhorted blacks to cast off the shackles of racism "by any means necessary," including violence. The fiery civil rights leader broke with the Nation of Islam shortly before his assassination in 1965 at the Audubon Ballroom in Manhattan, where he had been preparing to deliver a speech.

Early Life and Family

Malcolm X was born on May 19, 1925, in Omaha, Nebraska. 

He was the fourth of eight children born to Louise, a homemaker, and Earl Little, a preacher who was also an active member of the local chapter of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and avid supporter of black nationalist leader Marcus Garvey. 

Due to Earl Little's civil rights activism, the family was subjected to frequent harassment from white supremacist groups including the Ku Klux Klan and one of its splinter factions, the Black Legion. In fact, Malcolm Little had his first encounter with racism before he was even born.

"When my mother was pregnant with me, she told me later, 'a party of hooded Ku Klux Klan riders galloped up to our home,'" Malcolm later remembered. "Brandishing their shotguns and rifles, they shouted for my father to come out." 

Malcolm X's Life in Photos


The harassment continued when Malcolm was four years old, and local Klan members smashed all of the family's windows. To protect his family, Earl Little moved them from Omaha to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1926 and then to Lansing, Michigan, in 1928.

However, the racism the family encountered in Lansing proved even greater than in Omaha. Shortly after the Littles moved in, a racist mob set their house on fire in 1929, and the town's all-white emergency responders refused to do anything. 

"The white police and firemen came and stood around watching as the house burned to the ground," Malcolm X later remembered. Earl Little moved the family to East Lansing where he built a new home.

Two years later, in 1931, Earl Little's dead body was discovered lying across the municipal streetcar tracks. Although Malcolm X's family believed his father was murdered by white supremacists from whom he had received frequent death threats, the police officially ruled Earl Little's death a streetcar accident, thereby voiding the large life insurance policy he had purchased in order to provide for his family in the event of his death.

Malcolm X's mother never recovered from the shock and grief over her husband's death. In 1937, she was committed to a mental institution where she remained for the next 26 years. Malcolm and his siblings were separated and placed in foster homes.


In 1938, Malcolm was kicked out of school and sent to a juvenile detention home in Mason, Michigan. The white couple who ran the home treated him well, but he wrote in his autobiography that he was treated more like a "pink poodle" or a "pet canary" than a human being. 

He attended Mason High School where he was one of only a few black students. He excelled academically and was well liked by his classmates, who elected him class president.

A turning point in Malcolm Little's childhood came in 1939, when his English teacher asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up and he answered that he wanted to be a lawyer. His teacher responded, "One of life's first needs is for us to be realistic ... you need to think of something you can be ... why don't you plan on carpentry?" 

Having thus been told in no uncertain terms that there was no point in a black child pursuing education, Malcolm X dropped out of school the following year, at the age of 15.

After quitting school, Malcolm X moved to Boston to live with his older half-sister, Ella, about whom he later recalled, "She was the first really proud black woman I had ever seen in my life. She was plainly proud of her very dark skin. This was unheard of among Negroes in those days." 

Ella landed Malcolm a job shining shoes at the Roseland Ballroom. However, out on his own on the streets of Boston, Malcolm X became acquainted with the city's criminal underground and soon turning to selling drugs. 

He got another job as kitchen help on the Yankee Clipper train between New York and Boston and fell further into a life of drugs and crime. Sporting flamboyant pinstriped zoot suits, he frequented nightclubs and dance halls and turned more fully to crime to finance his lavish lifestyle.

Time in Jail

In 1946, Malcolm X was arrested on charges of larceny and sentenced to 10 years in jail. To pass the time during his incarceration, he read constantly, devouring books from the prison library in an attempt make up for the years of education he had missed by dropping out of high school.

Also while in prison, Malcolm was visited by several siblings who had joined the Nation of Islam, a small sect of black Muslims who embraced the ideology of black nationalism — the idea that in order to secure freedom, justice and equality, black Americans needed to establish their own state entirely separate from white Americans. 

He changed his name to Malcolm X and converted to the Nation of Islam before his release from prison in 1952.

Nation of Islam

Now a free man, Malcolm X traveled to Detroit, Michigan, where he worked with the leader of the Nation of Islam, Elijah Muhammad, to expand the movement's following among black Americans nationwide. 

Malcolm X became the minister of Temple No. 7 in Harlem and Temple No. 11 in Boston, while also founding new temples in Hartford and Philadelphia. In 1960, he established a national newspaper, Muhammad Speaks, in order to further promote the message of the Nation of Islam.

Articulate, passionate and an inspirational orator, Malcolm X exhorted blacks to cast off the shackles of racism "by any means necessary," including violence. "You don't have a peaceful revolution. You don't have a turn-the-cheek revolution,” he said. “There's no such thing as a nonviolent revolution." 

His militant proposals — a violent revolution to establish an independent black nation — won Malcolm X large numbers of followers as well as many fierce critics. Due primarily to the efforts of Malcolm X, the Nation of Islam grew from a mere 400 members at the time he was released from prison in 1952, to 40,000 members by 1960.


Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.

By the early 1960s, Malcolm X had emerged as a leading voice of a radicalized wing of the civil rights movement, presenting a dramatic alternative to Martin Luther King Jr.'s vision of a racially-integrated society achieved by peaceful means. 

Dr. King was highly critical of what he viewed as Malcolm X's destructive demagoguery. "I feel that Malcolm has done himself and our people a great disservice," King once said.

Becoming a Mainstream Sunni Muslim

A rupture with Elijah Muhammad proved much more traumatic. In 1963, Malcolm X became deeply disillusioned when he learned that his hero and mentor had violated many of his own teachings, most flagrantly by carrying on many extramarital affairs; Muhammad had, in fact, fathered several children out of wedlock. 

Malcolm's feelings of betrayal, combined with Muhammad's anger over Malcolm's insensitive comments regarding the assassination of John F. Kennedy, led Malcolm X to leave the Nation of Islam in 1964.

That same year, Malcolm X embarked on an extended trip through North Africa and the Middle East. The journey proved to be both a political and spiritual turning point in his life. He learned to place the American civil rights movement within the context of a global anti-colonial struggle, embracing socialism and pan-Africanism. 

Malcolm X also made the Hajj, the traditional Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, during which he converted to traditional Islam and again changed his name, this time to El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz.

After his epiphany at Mecca, Malcolm X returned to the United States less angry and more optimistic about the prospects for peaceful resolution to America's race problems. "The true brotherhood I had seen had influenced me to recognize that anger can blind human vision," he said. "America is the first country ... that can actually have a bloodless revolution." 


Just as Malcolm X appeared to be embarking on an ideological transformation with the potential to dramatically alter the course of the civil rights movement, he was assassinated.

On February 21, 1965, Malcolm X took the stage for a speech at the Audubon Ballroom in Manhattan. He had just begun addressing the room when multiple men rushed the stage and began firing guns. 

Struck numerous times at close range, Malcolm X was declared dead after arriving at a nearby hospital. Three members of the Nation of Islam were tried and sentenced to life in prison for murdering the activist.

The Autobiography of Malcolm X

In the early 1960s, Malcolm X began working with acclaimed author Alex Haley on an autobiography. The book details Malcolm X's life experiences and his evolving views on racial pride, black nationalism and pan-Africanism. 

The Autobiography of Malcolm X was published in 1965 after his assassination to near-universal praise. The New York Times called it a "brilliant, painful, important book," and Time magazine listed it as one of the 10 most influential nonfiction books of the 20th century.


Malcolm X has been the subject of numerous movies, stage plays and other works, and has been portrayed by actors like James Earl Jones, Morgan Freeman and Mario Van Peebles. 

In 1992, Spike Lee directed Denzel Washington in the title role of his movie Malcolm X. Both the film and Washington's portrayal of Malcolm X received wide acclaim and were nominated for several awards, including two Academy Awards.


In the immediate aftermath of Malcolm X's death, commentators largely ignored his recent spiritual and political transformation and criticized him as a violent rabble-rouser. 

But especially after the publication of The Autobiography of Malcolm X, he will be remembered for underscoring the value of a truly free populace by demonstrating the great lengths to which human beings will go to secure their freedom. 

"Power in defense of freedom is greater than power in behalf of tyranny and oppression,” he said. “Because power, real power, comes from our conviction which produces action, uncompromising action."

WATCH THE VIDEO ON THEME: MALCOLM X I Have No Fear Whatsoever of Anybody or Anything
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Malcolm Taught Us: 7 Quotes From Malcolm X

malcolm x quote

The African-American leader spoke out about freedom, equality and civil rights. Here are a handful of the most inspiring Malcolm X quotes.

Malcolm X is a controversial figure. Born in 1925 in Omaha, Nebraska, he lost his father when he was just six, and his mother was in a mental institution by the time he was 13. 

Left to carve a path for himself, Malcolm X — who was born Malcolm Little — became an active member of Islam. After realizing the name “Little” came from a white slave master, he decided to reclaim his identity by changing his name to Malcolm X.

While Malcolm X’s critics condemned him for preaching racism and violence, those who admired him simply saw him as being harsh on racism. In their opinion, Malcolm X saw the many injustices black Americans were facing and was determined to create a more just nation, no matter what it took.

Malcolm X eventually decided the Nation of Islam had become too rigid, and he broke free of Muslim culture in 1964. A year later, he was assassinated by three members of the Nation of Islam, which happened to be the same year his collaboration with journalist Alex Haley, “The Autobiography of Malcolm X,” was published. 

Over 50 years later, one thing is clear: Malcolm X is one of the most influential men in American history.


The Autobiography of Malcolm X, published shortly after his death, is considered one of 2 Attributed; 3 Quotes about Malcolm X; 4 See also; 5 External links.

Malcolm X Quotes

malcolm x quote

Malcolm X was born in 1925 in Omaha, Nebraska and was given the name Malcolm Little.

During his childhood, he and his family experienced racism against African Americans, and moved to several different locations to escape it.

After Malcolm’s father was murdered in 1931, the family fell on hard times during the Great Depression. Malcolm’s mother had to be institutionalized for mental illness and Malcolm and his siblings were sent to foster homes.

As a young adult, Malcolm became involved with criminal activity, and he ended up serving a ten year prison term. While in jail, he sought to better himself and read extensively about philosophy and religion. He learned about the Black Muslims and eventually joined their movement.

When Malcolm left prison, he changed his name to Malcolm X and began a life as an assistant minister in the Detroit Mosque. This led to other positions, and he became a spokesman for the Black Muslims who sought to separate the black race from others and use self defense as a way to achieve their goals. This contradicted the position of civil rights advocates of the time.

Malcolm X left the Black Muslims and began his own movement that sought to bring his cause more international attention. He didn’t get the opportunity to continue with his work because he was assassinated on February 21st, 1965 during a meeting in Harlem.

Below are 105 notable Malcolm X quotes about his journey to empower African Americans.

Malcolm X Quotes

“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” -Malcolm X

“A new world order is in the making, and it is up to us to prepare ourselves that we may take our rightful place in it.”

“What I want to know is how the white man, with the blood of black people dripping off his fingers, can have the audacity to be asking black people [why] they hate him? ”

“Yes, I’m an extremist. The black race… is in extremely bad condition. You show me a black man who isn’t an extremist and I’ll show you one who needs psychiatric attention!”

“There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance next time.” -Malcolm X

“I find it difficult [to believe] that… Christians accuse [Black Muslims] of teaching racial supremacy or… hatred, because their own history and… teachings are filled with it.”

“Sitting at the table doesn’t make you a diner, unless you eat some of what’s on that plate. Being here in America doesn’t make you an American. Being born here in America doesn’t make you an American.”

“The holiest and most sacred city on earth. The fountain of truth, love, peace, and brotherhood.”

“I am not a racist. I am against every form of racism and segregation, every form of discrimination. I believe in human beings, and that all human beings should be respected as such, regardless of their color.”

“How can anyone be against love?” -Malcolm X

“It’s just like when you’ve got some coffee that’s too black, which means it’s too strong, what do you do? You integrate it with cream… But if you pour too much cream in it, you won’t even know you ever had coffee. It used to be hot, it becomes cool. It used to be strong, it becomes weak. It used to wake you up, now it puts you to sleep.”

“The white man is afraid of truth… I’m the only black man they’ve ever been close to who they know speaks the truth to them. Its their guilt that upsets them, not me.”

“Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery.”

“We’re not Americans, we’re Africans who happen to be in America. We were kidnapped and brought here against our will from Africa. We didn’t land on Plymouth Rock – that rock landed on us.”

“Usually when people are sad, they don’t do anything. They just cry over their condition. But when they get angry, they bring about a change.” -Malcolm X

“It is a time for martyrs now, and if I am to be one, it will be for the cause of brotherhood. That’s the only thing that can save this country.”

“You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom. ”

“People involved in a revolution don’t become part of the system; they destroy the system… The Negro revolution is no revolution because it condemns the system and then asks the system it has condemned to accept them…”

“One of the things that made the Black Muslim movement grow was its emphasis upon things African. This was the secret to the growth of the Black Muslim movement. African blood, African origin, African culture, African ties. And you’d be surprised – we discovered that deep within the subconscious of the black man in this country , he is still more African than he is American.”

“The price of freedom is death.”

“History is a people’s memory, and without a memory, man is demoted to the lower animals.” -Malcolm X

“Power never takes a back step – only in the face of more power. ”

“Time is on the side of the oppressed today, it’s against the oppressor. Truth is on the side of the oppressed today, it’s against the oppressor. You don’t need anything else.”

“Speaking like this doesn’t mean that we’re anti-white, but it does mean we’re anti-exploitation, we’re anti-degradation, we’re anti-oppression.”

“Once I was, yes. But now I have turned my direction away from anything that’s racist.”

“Early in life I had learned that if you want something, you had better make some noise.” -Malcolm X

“We do not condemn the preachers as an individual but we condemn what they teach. We urge that the preachers teach the truth, to teach our people the one important guiding rule of conduct – unity of purpose.”

“I don’t even call it violence when it’s in self defense; I call it intelligence.”

“If violence is wrong in America, violence is wrong abroad. If it is wrong to be violent defending black women and black children and black babies and black men, then it is wrong for America to draft us, and make us violent abroad in defense of her. And if it is right for America to draft us, and teach us how to be violent in defense of her, then it is right for you and me to do whatever is necessary to defend our own people right here in this country.”

“Nonviolence is fine as long as it works.”

“A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything.” -Malcolm X

“I am for violence if non-violence means we continue postponing a solution to the American black man’s problem just to avoid violence.”

“There can be no black-white unity until there is first some black unity. We cannot think of uniting with others, until after we have first united among ourselves. We cannot think of being acceptable to others until we have first proven acceptable to ourselves.”

“We black men have a hard enough time in our own struggle for justice, and already have enough enemies as it is, to make the drastic mistake of attacking each other and adding more weight to an already unbearable load.”

“My alma mater was books, a good library. I could spend the rest of my life reading, just satisfying my curiosity.”

“You’re not to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or says it. ” -Malcolm X

“We declare our right on this earth to be a human being, to be respected as a human being, to be given the rights of a human being in this society, on this earth, in this day, which we intend to bring into existence by any means necessary.”

“I believe in human rights for everyone, and none of us is qualified to judge each other and that none of us should therefore have that authority.”

“I believe that there will ultimately be a clash between the oppressed and those that do the oppressing. I believe that there will be a clash between those who want freedom, justice and equality for everyone and those who want to continue the systems of exploitation.”

“The only way we’ll get freedom for ourselves is to identify ourselves with every oppressed people in the world. We are blood brothers to the people of Brazil, Venezuelan Haiti and Cuba.”

“Stumbling is not falling.” -Malcolm X

“I am neither a fanatic nor a dreamer. I am a black man who loves peace, and justice, and loves his people.”

“Dr. King wants the same thing I want. Freedom.”

“In all our deeds, the proper value and respect for time determines success or failure.”

“The Negro revolution is controlled by foxy white liberals, by the Government itself. But the Black Revolution is controlled only by God.”

“History is not hatred.” -Malcolm X

“I have often reflected upon the new vistas that reading opened to me. I knew right there in prison that reading had changed forever the course of my life. As I see it today, the ability to read awoke in me some long dormant craving to be mentally alive.”

“A race of people is like an individual man; until it uses its own talent, takes pride in its own history, expresses its own culture, affirms its own selfhood, it can never fulfill itself.”

“The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.”

“People don’t realize how a man’s whole life can be changed by one book.”

“Envy blinds men and makes it impossible for them to think clearly.” -Malcolm X

“I want Dr. King to know that I didn’t come to Selma to make his job difficult. I really did come thinking I could make it easier. If the white people realize what the alternative is, perhaps they will be more willing to hear Dr. King.”

“Power in defense of freedom is greater than power in behalf of tyranny, because the power of a just cause is based on conviction, and leads to resolute and uncompromising action.”

“Concerning nonviolence, it is criminal to teach a man not to defend himself when he is the constant victim of brutal attacks.”

“I believe in the brotherhood of all men, but I don’t believe in wasting brotherhood on anyone who doesn’t want to practice it with me. Brotherhood is a two-way street.”

“I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it’s for or against.” -Malcolm X

“It takes heart to be a guerrilla warrior because you’re on your own. In conventional warfare you have tanks and a whole lot of other people with you to back you up—planes over your head and all that kind of stuff. But a guerrilla is on his own. All you have is a rifle, some sneakers and a bowl of rice, and that’s all you need — and a lot of heart.”

“There is nothing in our book, the Koran, that teaches us to suffer peacefully. Our religion teaches us to be intelligent. Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery. That’s a good religion.”

“When a person places the proper value on freedom, there is nothing under the sun that he will not do to acquire that freedom. Whenever you hear a man saying he wants freedom, but in the next breath he is going to tell you what he won’t do to get it, or what he doesn’t believe in doing in order to get it, he doesn’t believe in freedom. A man who believes in freedom will do anything under the sun to acquire or preserve his freedom.”

“They put your mind right in a bag, and take it wherever they want.”

“If you have no critics you’ll likely have no success.” -Malcolm X

“You show me a capitalist, and I’ll show you a bloodsucker.”

“You don’t have to be a man to fight for freedom. All you have to do is to be an intelligent human being.”

“The real names of our people were destroyed during slavery. The last name of my forefathers was taken from them when they were brought to America and made slaves, and then the name of the slave master was given, which we refuse, we reject that name today and refuse it. I never acknowledge it whatsoever.”

“I believe in a religion that believes in freedom. Any time I have to accept a religion that won’t let me fight a battle for my people, I say to hell with that religion.”

“One day, may we all meet together in the light of understanding.” -Malcolm X

“We are nonviolent with people who are nonviolent with us.”

“I don’t see an American Dream, I see an American Nightmare.”

“I’m the man you think you are. If you want to know what I’ll do, figure out what you’ll do. I’ll do the same thing–only more of it.”

“What is a Dixiecrat? A Democrat. A Dixiecrat is nothing but a Democrat in disguise.”

“Without education, you’re not going anywhere in this world.” -Malcolm X

“The day that the black man takes an uncompromising step and realizes that he’s within his rights, when his own freedom is being jeopardized, to use any means necessary to bring about his freedom or put a halt to that injustice, I don’t think he’ll be by himself.”

“Being an old farm boy myself, chickens coming home to roost never did make me sad; they’ve always made me glad.”

“I for one believe that if you give people a thorough understanding of what confronts them and the basic causes that produce it, they’ll create their own program, and when the people create a program, you get action.”

“I feel like a man who has been asleep somewhat and under someone else’s control. I feel that what I’m thinking and saying is now for myself. Before it was for and by the guidance of Elijah Muhammad. Now I think with my own mind, sir!”

“We cannot think of being acceptable to others until we have first proven acceptable to ourselves.” -Malcolm X

“When ghetto living seems normal, you have no shame, no privacy.”

“If you have a dog, I must have a dog. If you have a rifle, I must have a rifle. If you have a club, I must have a club. This is equality.”

“Don’t be in a hurry to condemn because he doesn’t do what you do or think as you think or as fast. There was a time when you didn’t know what you know today.”

“You can’t hate the roots of a tree and not hate the tree. You can’t hate Africa and not hate yourself.”

“If you’re not ready to die for it, put the word ‘freedom’ out of your vocabulary.” -Malcolm X

“To have once been a criminal is no disgrace. To remain a criminal is the disgrace.”

“I have more respect for a man who lets me know where he stands, even if he’s wrong. Than the one who comes up like an angel and is nothing but a devil.”

“My black brothers and sisters – of all religious beliefs, or of no religious beliefs – we all have in common the greatest binding tie we could have. We are all black people!”

“Segregation is that which is forced upon an inferior by a superior. Separation is done voluntarily by two equals.”

“Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you’re a man, you take it.” -Malcolm X

“I just don’t believe that when people are being unjustly oppressed that they should let someone else set rules for them by which they can come out from under that oppression.”

“It’s hard for anyone intelligent to be nonviolent. Everything in the universe does something when you start playing with his life, except the American Negro. He lays down and says, ‘Beat me, daddy.'”

“In the past, the greatest weapon the white man has had has been his ability to divide and conquer. If I take my hand and slap you, you don’t even feel it. It might sting you because these digits are separated. But all I have to do to put you back in your place is bring those digits together.”

“When we see that our problem is so complicated and so all-encompassing in its intent and content, then we realize that it is no longer a Negro problem, confined only to the American Negro; that it is no longer an American problem, confined only to America, but it is a problem for humanity.”

“Change is only a good thing if you change in a good way.” -Malcolm X

“I want to take Negroes out of the ghetto and put them in good neighborhoods in good houses.”

“If you turn the other cheek, you can be enslaved for 1,000 years.”

“Good education, housing and jobs are imperatives for the Negroes, and I shall support them in their fight to win these objectives, but I shall tell the Negroes that while these are necessary, they cannot solve the main Negro problem.”

“You can’t legislate good will – that comes through education.”

“The future belongs to those who prepare for it today.” -Malcolm X

“America is the first country that can actually have a bloodless revolution.”

“Do you know what integration really means? It means intermarriage. That’s the real point behind it. You can’t have it without intermarriage. And that would result in disintegration of both races.”

“Integration will not bring a man back from the grave.”

Quotes About Malcolm X

“I always had a deep affection for Malcolm and felt that he had a great ability to put his finger on the existence and the root of the problem. He was an eloquent spokesman for his point of view and no one can honestly doubt that Malcolm had a great concern for the problems we face as a race.” -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“The black student group I was in wrote him a letter saying we’d heard he’d suspended security provisions – people weren’t being searched fully like before. We told him we thought that was not wise, in fact more security should be in place. He wrote back, and after thanking us, said, ‘Brothers, our people are patted down and knocked down every day of their lives. We want them to come in here and know that they are among their brothers and sisters.’” -James Turner, Founding Director of Africana Studies at Cornell University

“I had just moved to Harlem. It was the first night I was there, and I went for a walk and there was a rally going on. Of course, I had heard about Malcolm before that, but it was mostly the kind of negative things they were running about him in the press then. I felt as if I was hearing the truth. I had never heard anyone speak with such clarity and forcefulness. And he just stimulated me. I found if he mentioned a book or a magazine article, I would try to find it. You hear people use that clich about the University of the Streets. It really was that.” -A. Peter Bailey, Journalist

“Here – at this final hour, Harlem has come to bid farewell to one of its brightest hopes – extinguished now, and gone from us forever.. Many will ask what Harlem finds to honor in this stormy, controversial and bold young captain – and we will smile. .We will answer and say unto them, ‘Did you ever talk to Brother Malcolm? Did you ever really listen to him? .For if you did you would know him. And if you knew him you would know why we must honor him.’” -Ossie Davis, Actor

“This was a brother you could believe. There was the sense that he was not in it for something. That was the extraordinary thing about him. He was in it because of his commitment to our liberation.” -James Turner, Founding Director of Africana Studies at Cornell University

5 Fun Facts About Malcolm X

  1. Malcolm X had nine siblings. He had six siblings of the same parents and three half siblings.
  2. After an incident during one of his speeches, the FBI followed every move of Malcolm X.
  3. He founded Muslim Mosque, Inc. and Pan-Africanish Organization of Afro-American unity.
  4. Malcolm X inspired Cassius Clay, aka Muhammad Ali, to join the Islam religion.
  5. As early as age 9, Malcolm X began robbing food from stores because his family was in such dire economic need.

These famous Malcolm X quotes regarding race relations in the early and mid twentieth century represented his intense emotions about the subject. The passion in his words clearly reflects the struggle of African Americans during his lifetime.

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— Hannah Hutyra


A list of quotes from Malcolm X. Here are the best Malcolm X quotes on various subjects. The Malcolm X quotations list is sorted by popularity, so only the best.

malcolm x quote
Written by Dougor
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