Malcolm X Quotes On Life, Freedom And Justice
Read the best collection of Malcolm X quotes, sayings, speeches, and messages that will inspire you to live a life with courage, justice, and equality.
Malcolm X was an American Muslim minister and human rights activist who played a significant role in the civil rights movement of the 1960s.
He was a powerful and influential speaker who challenged the status quo and advocated for the rights of Black Americans.
Malcolm X was a controversial figure during his lifetime, and his views on race, religion, and politics continue to be debated today.
After his assassination, the widespread distribution of his life story, The Autobiography of Malcolm X published in 1965 made him an ideological hero, especially among Black youth.
Some of his most famous quotes address issues such as racism, oppression, and the struggle for civil rights.
Many of his sayings are also characterized by their uncompromising and confrontational tone, which reflects Malcolm X’s passionate commitment to fighting for justice.
Top 10 Malcolm X Quotes Of All Time
- “A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything.” – Malcolm X
- “If something is yours by right, then fight for it or shut up.” – Malcolm X
- “We are nonviolent with people who are nonviolent with us.” – Malcolm X
- “Without education, you’re not going anywhere in this world.”
- “Power never takes a step back except in the face of more power.”
- “You and I have never seen democracy; all we’ve seen is hypocrisy.”
- “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” – Malcolm X
- “I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it’s for or against.”
- “You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.” – Malcolm X
- “Read absolutely everything you get your hands on because you’ll never know where you’ll get an idea from…” – Malcolm X
- “Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you’re a man, you take it.” – Malcolm X
- “No one will know who we are… until we know who we are! We will be able to go anywhere until we know where we are!” – 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
The Autobiography of Malcolm X
Throughout his life, Malcolm X delivered numerous speeches and interviews that were filled with powerful and thought-provoking quotes.
These Malcolm X quotes continue to resonate with people around the world and offer insights into Malcolm X’s philosophy and worldview.
- “The hardest test I ever faced in my life was praying.” – Malcolm X
- “You can’t legislate good will – that comes through education.” – Malcolm X
- “We didn’t land on Plymouth Rock; Plymouth Rock landed on us.” – Malcolm X
- “They cripple the bird’s wing, and then condemn it for not flying as fast as they.” – Malcolm X
- “Power in defense of freedom is greater than power in behalf of tyranny and oppression.” – Malcolm X
- “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
- “Segregation is that which is forced upon an inferior by a superior. Separation is done voluntarily by two equals.” – 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
- “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
- “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
Best Quotes By Malcolm X On Life
- “Stumbling is not falling.” – Malcolm X
- “Change is only a good thing if you change in a good way.” – Malcolm X
- “Hatred and anger are powerless when met with kindness.” – Malcolm X
- “I don’t advocate violence; but if a man steps on my toes, I’ll step on his…” – Malcolm X
- “A man curses because he doesn’t have the words to say what’s on his mind.” – Malcolm X
- “Early in life I learned that if you want something, you better make some noise.” – Malcolm X
- “In all our deeds, the proper value and respect for time determines success or failure.” – Malcolm X
- “History is a people’s memory, and without a memory, a man is demoted to the lower animals.” – 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.” – Malcolm X
- “Either you are a citizen or you are not a citizen at all. If you are a citizen, you are free; if you’re not a citizen you are a slave.” – Malcolm X
Inspirational Quotes From Malcolm X
- “Nonviolence is fine as long as it works.”
- “You can’t have capitalism without racism.”
- “If you have no critics, you’ll likely have no success.”
- “I’m going to tell it like it is. I hope you can take it like it is.”
- “People don’t realize how a man’s whole life can be changed by one book.”
- “We cannot think of being acceptable to others until we have first proven acceptable to ourselves.”
- “Children have a lesson adults should learn, to not be ashamed of failing, but to get up and try again.”
- “Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery.”
- “Truth does not change, only our awareness of it.” ― Malcolm X, The Autobiography of Malcolm X
- “Concerning nonviolence, it is criminal to teach a man not to defend himself when he is the constant victim of brutal attacks.” – Malcolm X
- “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.” – Malcolm X
- “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?” – Malcolm X
- “We need more light about each other. Light creates understanding, understanding creates love, love creates patience, and patience creates unity.” – 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 want to be remembered as someone who was sincere. Even if I made mistakes, they were made in sincerity. If I was wrong, I was wrong in sincerity. I can deal with a person who was wrong, as long as they were sincere.” – Malcolm X
Malcolm X’s Quotes On Freedom & Justice
- “Dr. King wants the same thing I want. Freedom.” – Malcolm X
- “If you turn the other cheek, you can be enslaved for 1,000 years.” – Malcolm X
- “They put your mind right in a bag, and take it wherever they want.” – Malcolm X
- “If you’re not ready to die for it, put the word ‘freedom’ out of your vocabulary.” – Malcolm X
- “It is only after slavery and prison that the sweetest appreciation of freedom can come.” – 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
- “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
- “It’ll be the ballot or it’ll be the bullet. It’ll be liberty or it’ll be death. And if you’re not ready to pay that price don’t use the word freedom in your vocabulary.” – Malcolm X
- “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.” – Malcolm X
- “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!” – Malcolm X
- “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.” – Malcolm X
- “Times change so quickly that if you and I don’t keep up with the times, we’ll find ourselves with an umbrella in our hand, over our head, when the sun is out. Or we’ll find ourselves standing in the rain, with the umbrella inside the door.” – Malcolm X
Notable Malcolm X Quotations On Activism
- “It’s hard for anyone intelligent to be nonviolent.” – Malcolm X
- “To have once been a criminal is no disgrace. To remain a criminal is the disgrace.” – 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
- “And just because you have colleges and universities doesn’t mean you have education.”
- “In any organization, someone must be the boss. If it’s even just one person, you’ve got to be the boss of yourself.” – 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
- “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.” – 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
- “You can’t hate the roots of the tree without ending up hating the tree. You can’t hate your origin without ending up hating yourself. You can’t hate the land, your motherland, the place that you come from, and we can’t hate Africa without ending up hating ourselves.” – Malcolm X
- “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.” – Malcolm X
Malcolm X – Life & Facts
Malcolm X’s birth name was Malcolm Little. He was born on May 19, 1925, in Omaha, Nebraska, and he was the fourth of eight siblings.
Malcolm took the Name “X” to Represent His Unknown African Name.
- To make a clean break with White, European culture, Malcolm X dropped his last name (Little), which he said was his “slave name” and replaced it with the letter “X.”
He was a critic of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s philosophy of integration and nonviolent resistance.
On February 21, 1965, several days after his home was firebombed and destroyed, Malcolm X was assassinated.
Despite his controversial reputation, Malcolm X remains an important figure in the history of the civil rights movement and the struggle for racial equality.
His quotes continue to inspire and challenge people today, and they offer a reminder of the ongoing fight for social justice and human rights.
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