Best Malcolm X Quotes To Motivate You To Stand For Something
Tall, handsome and rhetorically charismatic, Malcolm X rose from a life of crime to one of the most important civil rights leaders in history. A dangerous challenge for the status quo, he was portrayed by the mainstream media as the perfect villain, a preacher of hatred and violence, and even after his death his legacy and memory were vilified and cunningly swept under the rug. As a tribute of praise to this icon of resistance and racial justice, we have curated a unique collection of the most inspirational Malcolm X quotes to motivate you to stand for something and not tolerate injustice.
Born Malcolm Little, in 1925 in Omaha, Nebraska, Malcolm X had a troubled childhood and grew up in a number of foster homes before moving to Boston, where he jumped into a criminal life. Convicted for burglary, he served 6 years in prison, where he joined the Nation of Islam, a Black nationalist movement, becoming one of its most prominent leaders after his parole.
A vociferous and courageous orator for Black empowerment, Malcolm X believed in the “natural right” of black people to protect themselves from injustice “by any means necessary”, and sought a more radical resolution to America’s race problem than the demure, “turn the other cheek” approach of Martin Luther King. Through his fired up speeches, Malcolm X encouraged Black people to feel proud of their heritage, to fight back and to build strong communities through Black enterprise.
Following his deep disillusionment with the Nation of Islam, Malcolm X quit the organization and travelled to Saudi Arabia, where he converted to Sunni Islam and changed his name to El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz. His spiritual transformation led him to abandon his previous separatist views and expanded his social vision to embrace a wider unity among all human beings.
Malcolm X, the talisman for Black America, was assassinated while addressing his Organization of Afro-American Unity in Manhattan, New York, leaving behind him an inspiring example of courage and strength to keep fighting for a better world.
Table of Contents
- Fired Up Malcolm X Quotes About A World That Needs To Change
- Nonviolence Quotes and Inspirational Thoughts By Malcolm X
- Malcolm X Quotes About Education, Reading and Books
- Malcolm X Quotes About Freedom
- Insightful Malcolm X Quotes About The Media and Misuse of Power
- Important Quotes By Malcolm X About and Society and Oppression
Fired Up Malcolm X Quotes About A World That Needs To Change
We have rounded up a list of fired up Malcom X quotes about a world that needs to change in order to promote understanding and inspire purpose for creating a better society by transcending differences and divides.
- We need more light about each other. Light creates understanding, understanding creates love, love creates patience, and patience creates unity. Malcolm X
- A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything. Malcolm X
- When ‘I’ replaced with ‘We’, even the illness becomes wellness. Malcolm X
- 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
- They cripple the bird’s wing, and then condemn it for not flying as fast as they. Malcolm X
- Without education, you’re not going anywhere in this world. Malcolm X
- If you turn the other cheek, you can be enslaved for 1,000 years. Malcolm X
- 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. Malcolm X
- All of us—who might have probed space, or cured cancer, or built industries—were, instead, black victims of the white man’s American social system. Malcolm X
- 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. Malcolm X
- 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. 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. Malcolm X
- You’re not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who says it. Malcolm X
- Truth is on the side of the oppressed. Malcolm X
- If you have no critics you’ll likely have no success. Malcolm X
- A man without any history is like a tree without roots. Malcolm X
- Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today. Malcolm X
- One day, may we all meet together in the light of understanding. Malcolm X
- 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. Malcolm X
- 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
- 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. Malcolm X
Nonviolence Quotes and Inspirational Thoughts By Malcolm X
Although he was demonized by the press as a black militant provocateur, Malcolm X did not believe in violence but in self-defense and reciprocity. The following nonviolence quotes and inspirational thoughts by Malcolm X will allow you a glimpse inside his brilliant mind.
- Concerning nonviolence, it is criminal to teach a man not to defend himself when he is the constant victim of brutal attacks. Malcolm X
- We are nonviolent with people who are nonviolent with us. Malcolm X
- A wise man can play the part of a clown, but a clown can’t play the part of a wise man. Malcolm X
- To me, the thing that is worse than death is betrayal. You see, I could conceive death, but I could not conceive betrayal. Malcolm X
- You show me a capitalist, and I’ll show you a bloodsucker. Malcom X
- Stumbling is not falling. Malcolm X
- That’s not a chip on my shoulder, that’s your foot on my neck. Malcolm X
- Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery. Malcolm X
- 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. Malcolm X
- 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. Malcolm X
- When ghetto living seems normal, you have no shame, no privacy. Malcolm X
- The mother is the first teacher of the child. The message she gives that child, that child gives to the world. Malcolm X
- We cannot think of being acceptable to others until we have first proven acceptable to ourselves. Malcolm X
- To have once been a criminal is no disgrace. To remain a criminal is the disgrace. Malcolm X
- Power never takes a step back except in the face of more power. Malcolm X
- The mental flexibility of the wise man permits him to keep an open mind and enables him to readjust himself whenever it becomes necessary for a change. Malcolm X
- I was going through the hardest thing, also the greatest thing, for any human being to do; to accept that which is already within you, and around you. Malcolm X
- 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. Malcolm X
- For the white man to ask the black man if he hates him is just like the rapist asking the raped, or the wolf asking the sheep, ‘Do you hate me?’ The white man is in no moral position to accuse anyone else of hate! Why, when all of my ancestors are snake-bitten, and I’m snake-bitten, and I warn my children to avoid snakes, what does that snake sound like accusing me of hate-teaching?
- The hardest test I ever faced in my life was praying. Malcolm X
- You have to be very careful introducing the truth to the black man, who has never previously heard the truth about himself. The black brother is so brainwashed that he may reject the truth when he first hears it. You have to drop a little bit on him at a time, and wait a while to let that sink in before advancing to the next step. Malcolm X
Malcolm X Quotes About Education, Reading and Books
Malcolm X was self-educated while serving his prison sentence. It is said that he read every book available in the prison library. The following Malcolm X quotes about education, reading and books illustrate the high importance he placed on the value of education as a means to freedom.
- Education is an important element in the struggle for human rights. It is the means to help our children and thereby increase self-respect. Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today. Malcolm X
- People don’t realize how a man’s whole life can be changed by one book. Malcolm X
- My alma mater was books, a good library…. I could spend the rest of my life reading, just satisfying my curiosity. Malcolm X
- Read absolutely everything you get your hands on because you’ll never know where you’ll get an idea from. Malcolm X
- 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. Malcolm X
- The ability to read awoke inside of me some long dormant craving to be mentally alive. Malcolm X
Malcolm X Quotes About Freedom
A list of eye-opening Malcolm X quotes about freedom and how it can be achieved when you are willing to pay the price.
- Any time you beg another man to set you free, you will never be free. Freedom is something that you have to do for yourselves. Malcolm X
- You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom. Malcolm X
- If you’re not ready to die for it, put the word ‘freedom’ out of your vocabulary. Malcolm X
- Dr. King wants the same thing I want. Freedom. Malcolm X
- If someone puts their hands on you make sure they never put their hands on anybody else again. Malcom X
- 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. Malcolm X
- You don’t have to be a man to fight for freedom. All you have to do is to be an intelligent human being. Malcolm X
- It is only after slavery and prison that the sweetest appreciation of freedom can come. Malcolm X
Insightful Malcolm X Quotes About The Media and Misuse of Power
These insightful Malcolm X quotes about the media and misuse of power will help you appreciate how the people in power use the mainstream media to skew people’s perception and influence their views through misinformation.
- The only thing power respects, is power. 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. Malcolm X
- They put your mind right in a bag, and take it wherever they want. Malcolm X
- When the people who are in power want to use again, create an image, to justify something that’s bad, they use the press. And they’ll use the press to create a humanitarian image, for a devil, or a devil image for a humanitarian. They’ll take a person who’s a victim of the crime, and make it appear he’s the criminal, and they’ll take the criminal and make it appear that he’s the victim of the crime. Malcolm X
Important Quotes By Malcolm X About and Society and Oppression
A handpicked collection of important quotes by Malcolm X about society and oppression that shed light on the issue of societal disparities and subjugation of people’s rights.
- If you stick a knife nine inches into my back and pull it out three inches, that is not progress. Even if you pull it all the way out, that is not progress. Progress is healing the wound, and America hasn’t even begun to pull out the knife. Malcolm X
- You and I have never seen democracy; all we’ve seen is hypocrisy. Malcolm X
- 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. Malcolm X
- Right now, in every big city ghetto, tens of thousands of yesterday’s and today’s school dropouts are keeping body and soul together by some form of hustling in the same way I did. Malcolm X
- When you live in a poor neighborhood, you are living in an area where you have poor schools. When you have poor schools, you have poor teachers. When you have poor teachers, you get a poor education. When you get a poor education, you can only work in a poor-paying job. And that poor-paying job enables you to live again in a poor neighborhood. So, it’s a very vicious cycle. Malcolm X
- America’s greatest crime against the black man was not slavery or lynching, but that he was taught to wear a mask of self-hate and self-doubt. Malcolm X
- The most disrespected person in America is the black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America is the black woman. Malcolm X
- 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. Malcolm X
- One of the tricks of the west is to use or create images, they create images of a person who doesn’t go along with their views and then they make certain that this image is distasteful, and then anything that that person has to say from thereon, from thereon in, is rejected. Malcolm X
Malcolm X was the courageous black prince who didn’t hesitate to risk his life for his ideas. Refusing to be defined by his past, he morphed from a street hustler to a martyr whose clarion call changed the lives of millions of Afro-Americans all over the world. The polar opposite of Martin Luther King, Malcolm X was the voice of Black America, calling black people to cast off the shackles of racism and stand for their rights. Malcolm X was not just a cataclysmic force for social change, but the American that every American should be proud of!
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