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Top 50 Best Inspiring Malcolm X Quotes

Malcolm X Quotes: Malcolm X was an African American Muslim minister and human rights activist who was a popular figure during the civil rights movement. He is best known for his time spent as a vocal spokesman for the Nation of Islam. A controversial figure accused of preaching racism and violence, Malcolm X is also a widely celebrated figure within African-American and Muslim American communities for his pursuit of racial justice. He was posthumously honored with Malcolm X Day, on which he is commemorated in various cities across the United States. Hundreds of streets and schools in the U.S. have been renamed in his honor.

Common Questions about Malcolm X

What did Malcolm X believe at the end of his life?

Near the end of his life, Malcolm X publicly recognized that “Dr. King wants the same thing I want — freedom!” But for most of his ministry, he did not identify with King and the civil rights movement.

What were Malcolm X's beliefs?

Malcolm X condemned whites, whom he referred to as the “white devil,” for the historical oppression of blacks. He argued for black power, black self-defense and black economic autonomy, and encouraged racial pride.

What age did Malcolm die?

39 years (1925–1965)

What does Black power mean?

Black Power was a revolutionary movement that occurred in the 1960s and 1970s. It emphasized racial pride, economic empowerment, and the creation of political and cultural institutions.

Our Favorite Malcolm X Quotes

“I'm for truth, no matter who tells it. I'm for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I'm a human being, first and foremost, and as such I'm for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.”

“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.”

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

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

“If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”

“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

“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.”

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

“Hence I have no mercy or compassion in me for a society that will crush people, and then penalize them for not being able to stand up under the weight.”

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

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

“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, Venezuela, Haiti, Cuba -- yes Cuba too.”

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

“How can you thank a man for giving you what's already yours? How then can you thank him for giving you only part of what is yours?”

“I believe that there will be ultimately be a clash between the oppressed and those who 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 system of exploitation. I believe that there will be that kind of clash, but I don't think it will be based on the color of the skin...”

“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.”

“The greatest mistake of the movement has been trying to organize a sleeping people around specific goals. You have to wake the people up first, then you'll get action.”

“You don't stick a knife in a man's back nine inches and then pull it out six inches and say you're making progress ... No matter how much respect, no matter how much recognition, whites show towards me, as far as I am concerned, as long as it is not shown to everyone of our people in this country, it doesn't exist for me.”

“I believe in the brotherhood of man, all men, but I don't believe in brotherhood with anybody who doesn't want brotherhood with me. I believe in treating people right, but I'm not going to waste my time trying to treat somebody right who doesn't know how to return the treatment”

“I believe in recognizing every human being as a human being--neither white, black, brown, or red; and when you are dealing with humanity as a family there's no question of integration or intermarriage. It's just one human being marrying another human being or one human being living around and with another human being.”

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

“True Islam taught me that it takes all of the religious, political, economic, psychological, and racial ingredients, or characteristics, to make the Human Family and the Human Society complete.”

“I don't see any American dream; I see an American nightmare.”

“It is only after slavery and prison that the sweetest appreciation of freedom can come. ”

“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.”

“I saw all races, all colors, blue eyed blonds to black skinned Africans in true brotherhood! In unity! Living as one! Worshiping as one! No segregationists, no liberals; they would not have known how to interpret the meaning of those words”

“Read absolutely everything you get your hands on because you'll never know where you'll get an idea from...”

“They cripple the bird's wing, and then condemn it for not flying as fast as they.”

“Don't be bitter. Remember Lot's wife when they kill me, and they surely will. You have to use all of your energy to do what it is you have to do. [To his wife Betty Shabazz]”

“I believe in human beings, and that all human beings should be respected as such, regardless of their color”

“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.”

“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.”

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“Who taught you to hate yourself?”

“... the young people are the ones who most quickly identify with the struggle and the necessity to eliminate the evil conditions that exist.”

“If you are in a country that is progressive, the woman is progressive. If you're in a country that reflects the consciousness toward the importance of education, it's because the woman is aware of the importance of education. But in every backward country you'll find the women are backward, and in every country where education is not stressed its because the women don't have education.”

“To tell a woman not to talk too much was like telling Jesse James not to carry a gun, or a hen not to cackle.”

“An English writer telephoned me from London, asking questions. One was, ‘What’s your alma mater?’ I told him, ‘Books.”

“You can cuss out colonialism, imperialism, and all other kinds of ism, but it's hard for you to cuss that dollarism. When they drop those dollars on you, your soul goes.”

“It is only after the deepest darkness that the greatest joy can come”

“Truth does not change, only our awareness of it.”

“I think that an objective reader may see how in the society to which I was exposed as a black youth here in America, for me to wind up in a prison was really just about inevitable. It happens to so many thousands of black youth.”

“Hence I have no mercy or compassion in me for a society that will crush people, and then penalize them for not being able to stand up under the weight. I”

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