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Malcolm X Quotes

Malcolm X Quotes:
Best of... | Quotes from Essays and Speeches | Quotes about MLK Jr. and Nonviolence | Misc Quotes | Quotes about Malcolm X


ON LOVE & SELF-ACCEPTANCE

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

Malcolm X Speaks


ON AFRICAN AMERICANS

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, Harlem, cited in Goldman, "The Death and Life of Malcolm X", p.157

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 tha t deep within the subconscious of the black man in this country , he is still more African than he is American.

Malcolm X, February 14, 1965 (taken from the essay 'Malcolm X, our revolutionary son & brother.' by Patricia Robinson)

ON HATRED

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?

Malcolm X, The Playboy interview, May 1963

ON RACISM

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

Malcolm X, Interview with Robert Penn Warren,1964

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.

Malcolm X, after his journey, perhaps in interview 18 Jan. 1965, in By any means, p. 158

ON CHILDHOOD

We were so hungry we were dizzy and we had nowhere to turn. Finally the authorities came in and we children were scattered about in different places as public wards. I happened to become the ward of a white couple who ran a correctional school for white boys. This family liked me in the way they liked their house pets.

Malcolm X, The Playboy interview, May 1963

ON HARLEM

That's where I saw in the bars all these men and women with what looked like the easiest life in the world. Plenty of money, big cars, all of it. I could tell they were in the rackets and vice. I hung around these bars whenever I came in town, and I kept my ears open and my mouth shut. And they kept their eyes on me, too. Finally, one day a numbers man told me that he needed a runner, and I never caught the night train back to Boston.

Malcolm X, The Playboy interview, May 1963

ON FAITH

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, Epistle to one of the Nation of Islam brethren

ON OVERCOMING

At the bottom of the social heap is the black man in the big-city ghetto. He lives night and day with the rats and the cockroaches and drowns himself with alcohol and anesthetizes himself with dope, to try and forget where and what he is. That Negro has given up all hope. He's the hardest one for us to reach, because he's the deepest in the mud. But when you get him, you've got the best kind of Muslim. I look upon myself as a prime example of this category - as graphic an example as you could find of the salvation of the black man.

Malcolm X, The Playboy interview, May 1963

ON CHRISTIANITY

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.

Malcolm X, Interview with William Kunstler, March 1960

Brothers and sisters, the white man has brainwashed us black people to fasten our gaze upon a blondhaired, blue-eyed Jesus! We're worshiping a Jesus that doesn't even look like us! Oh yes! Now just bear with me, listen to the teachings of the Messenger of Allah, The Honorable Elijah Muhammad. Now just think of this. The blond-haired, blue-eyed white man has taught you and me to worship a white Jesus, and to shout and sing and pray to this God that's his God, the white man's God. The white man has taught us to shout and sing and pray until we die, to wait until death, for some dreamy heaven-in-the-hereafter, when we're dead, while this white man his his milk and honey in the streets paved with golden dollars here on this earth!

Malcolm X, Harlem, June 1954

ON SEGREGATION

Segregation is that which is forced upon inferiors by superiors. Separation is done voluntarily by two equals... The Negro schools in the Negro community are controlled by whites,... the economy of the Negro community is controlled by whites. And since the Negro... community is controlled or regulated by outsiders, it is a segregated community...Muslims who follow the Honorable Elijah Muhammad are as much against segregation as we are against integration. We are against segregation because it is unjust and we are against integration because [it is] a false solution to a real problem.

Malcolm X, WUST interview, May 1963

ON INTEGRATION

...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.

Malcolm X, WUST interview, 1963

ON EXTREMISM

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, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, p.402

ON REVOLUTION

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...

Malcolm X, Interview with A. B. Spellman, May 1964

ON FREEDOM

The price of freedom is death.

Malcolm X, NYC, June 1964

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

Malcolm X, Source unknown

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, NYC, 19 February 1965 (2 days before he was murdered by Nation of Islam followers).

ON INACTION

Look at yourselves. Some of you teen-agers, students. How do you think I feel and I belo ng to a generation ahead of you - how do you think I feel to have to tell you, "We, my generation, sat around like a knot on a wall while the whole world was fighting for its human rights - and you've got to be born into a society where you still have that same fight ." What did we do, who preceded you ? I'll tell you what we did. Nothing. And don't you m ake the same mistake we made. ...

Malcolm X, December 31, 1964 (taken from the essay 'Malcolm X, our revolutionary son & brother.' by Patricia Robinson)
ON HOLY WAR

The war of Armageddon has already started... God is using his many weapons. He is sending hurricanes so fast that [the blue-eyed devils] can't name them. He is drowning them in floods and causing their cars to crash and their airplanes cannot stay up in the sky. Their boats are sinking because Allah controls all things and he is using all methods to begin to wipe the devils off the planet, [and] the enemy is dying of diseases that have never been so deadly.

Malcolm X, The FBI Files

ON MECCA

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

Malcolm X, Postcard to Dick Schaap, April 1964
 

ON NATION OF ISLAM

For 12 long years I lived within the narrow minded confines of the "straightjacket world" created by my strong belief that Elijah Muhammad was a messenger direct from God Himself, and my faith in what I now see to be a pseudo-religious philosophy that he preaches. . . . I shall never rest until I have undone the harm I did to so many well-meaning, innocent Negroes who through my own evangelistic zeal now believe in him even more fanatically and more blindly than I did.

Malcolm X, in a letter from Mecca to a friend, NYT, 4 Oct 1964, p.59

ON EDUCATION

Here I am, back in Mecca. I am still traveling, trying to broaden my mind, for I've seen too much of the damage narrow-mindedness can make of things, and when I return home to America, I will devote what energies I have to repairing the damage.

Malcolm X, Letter to James Farmer

Without education, you're not going anywhere in this world.

Malcolm X, Source unknown

ON TRUTH

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.

Malcolm X, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, p.405

ON EARTHLY REWARDS

Whenever I walk the street and see people ready to get with it, that's my reward.

Malcolm X, Interview with Claude Lewis, December 1964

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