Looking for the best Malcolm X quotes on freedom, life and success? The look no further.
One of the most influential African Americans in history, Malcolm X was a human rights activist and an American Muslim minister.
Due to his fathers civil rights activism, Malcolm’s family experienced frequent harassment that led to his fathers death when he was 6 years old and his mother was placed in a mental hospital when he was thirteen. Thereafter, Malcolm and his siblings were sent to foster homes.
At 20, 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 sought to better himself and read extensively about philosophy and religion. He embraced Islam and the ideology of black nationalism.
With his natural charisma Malcolm X became an influential leader among the Nation Of Islam and achieved many goals but challenged mainstream movements championed by Martin Luther King Jr.
He later left the Nation Of Islam and began his own movement that sought to bring his cause more international attention. Unfortunately he didn’t get the opportunity to continue with his work because he was assassinated on February 21st, 1965 during a meeting in Harlem.
Malcolm X was an advocate for universal freedom. People of all colors and religions can draw inspiration from his words of wisdom.
Below you’ll find the best Malcolm X quotes and sayings about life, equality, freedom and success.
Famous Malcolm X Quotes
1. “If you have no critics you’ll likely have no success.” – Malcolm X
2. “Anytime you see someone more successful than you are, they are doing something you aren’t.” – Malcolm X
3. “A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything.” – Malcolm X
4. In all our deeds, the proper value and respect for time determines success or failure.” – Malcolm X
5. “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
6. “So early in my life, I had learned that if you want something, you had better make some noise.” – Malcolm X
7. “If you’re not ready to die for it, put the word ‘freedom’ out of your vocabulary.” – Malcolm X
8. “Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.” – Malcolm X
9. “A wise man can play the part of a clown, but a clown can’t play the part of a wise man.” – Malcolm X
10. “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
11. “Stumbling is not falling.” – Malcolm X
12. “The future belongs to those who prepare for it today.” – Malcolm X
13. “Change is only a good thing if you change in a good way.” – Malcolm X
14. “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
15. “We need more light about each other. Light creates understanding, understanding creates love, love creates patience, and patience creates unity.” – Malcolm X
16. “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
17. “You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.” – Malcolm X
18. “All of our experiences fuse into our personality. Everything that ever happened to us is an ingredient.” – Malcolm X
19. “Children have a lesson adults should learn, to not be ashamed of failing, but to get up and try again.” – Malcolm X
20. “You have to wake the people up first, then you’ll get action.” – Malcolm X
21. “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
22. Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery.” – Malcolm X
23. “Power doesn’t back up in the face of a smile, or in the face of a threat of some kind of nonviolent loving action. It’s not the nature of power to back up in the face of anything but some more power.” – Malcolm X
24. “Envy blinds men and makes it impossible for them to think clearly.” – Malcolm X
25. “To have once been a criminal is no disgrace. To remain a criminal is the disgrace.” – Malcolm X
26. “Sitting at the table doesn’t make you a diner. You must be eating 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.” – Malcolm X
27. “Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you’re a man, you take it.” – Malcolm X
28. “Segregation is that which is forced upon an inferior by a superior. Separation is done voluntarily by two equals.” – Malcolm X
29. “America needs to understand Islam, because this is the one religion that erases from its society the race problem. Throughout my travels in the Muslim world, I have met, talked to, even eaten with people who in America would have been considered ‘white,’ but the ‘white’ attitude had been removed from their minds by the religion of Islam.” – Malcolm X
30. “Despite my firm convictions, I have always been a man who tries to face facts, and to accept the reality of life as new experience and new knowledge unfolds. I have always kept an open mind, a flexibility that must go hand in hand with every form of the intelligent search for truth.” – Malcolm X
31. “Power in defense of freedom is greater than power in behalf of tyranny and oppression, because power, real power, comes from our conviction which produces action, uncompromising action.” – Malcolm X
32. “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
33. “I don’t even call it violence when it’s in self defense; I call it intelligence.” – Malcolm X
34. “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
35. “I believe in human beings, and that all human beings should be respected as such, regardless of their color.” – Malcolm X
36. “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
37. “Without education, you are not going anywhere in this world.” – Malcolm X
38. “You can’t legislate good will – that comes through education.” – Malcolm X
39. “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.” – Malcolm X
40. “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
41. “It is impossible for capitalism to survive, primarily because the system of capitalism needs some blood to suck. Capitalism used to be like an eagle, but now it’s more like a vulture. It used to be strong enough to go and suck anybody’s blood whether they were strong or not. But now it has become more cowardly, like the vulture, and it can only suck the blood of the helpless. As the nations of the world free themselves, the capitalism has less victims, less to suck, and it becomes weaker and weaker. It’s only a matter of time in my opinion before it will collapse completely.” – Malcolm X
42. “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
43. “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
44. “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
45. “Read absolutely everything you get your hands on because you never know where you’ll get an idea from.” – Malcolm X
46. “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.” – Malcolm X
47. “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
48. “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.” – Malcolm X
49. “People don’t realize how a man’s whole life can be changed by one book.” – Malcolm X
50. “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.” – Malcolm X
51. “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
52. “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
53. “What kind of a man wants a woman today that cannot hold a conversation.” – Malcolm X
54. “Who taught you to hate the colour of your skin? Who taught you to hate the texture of your hair? You should ask yourself who taught you to hate being what God made you.” – Malcolm X
55. “Hatred and anger are powerless when met with kindness.” – Malcolm X
56. “How can anyone be against love?” – Malcolm X
57. “One of the first things I think young people, especially nowadays, should learn is how to see for yourself and listen for yourself and think for yourself. Then you can come to an intelligent decision for yourself. If you form the habit of going by what you hear others say about someone, or going by what others think about someone, instead of searching that thing out for yourself and seeing for yourself, you will be walking west when you think you’re going east, and you will be walking east when you think you’re going west.” – Malcolm X
58. “When ‘I’ replaced with ‘We’, even the illness becomes wellness.” – Malcolm X
59. “Only those who have already experienced a revolution within themselves can reach out effectively to help others.” – Malcolm X
60. “It’s good to keep wide-open ears and listen to what everybody else has to say, but when you come to make a decision, you have to weigh all of what you’ve heard on its own, and place it where it belongs, and come to a decision for yourself; you’ll never regret it. But if you form the habit of taking what someone else says about a thing without checking it out for yourself, you’ll find that other people will have you hating your friends and loving your enemies.” – Malcolm X
61. “I believe in Islam. I am a Muslim and there is nothing wrong with being a Muslim, nothing wrong with the religion of Islam. It just teaches us to believe in Allah as the God. Those of you who are Christian probably believe in the same God, because I think you believe in the God Who created the universe. That’s the One we believe in, the One Who created universe – the only difference being you call Him God and we call Him Allah. The Jews call Him Jehovah. If you could understand Hebrew, you would probably call Him Jehovah too. If you could understand Arabic, you would probably call Him Allah.” – Malcolm X
62. “Just as a tree without roots is dead, a people without history or cultural roots also becomes a dead people.” – Malcolm X
63. “The mother is the first teacher of the child. The message she gives that child, that child gives to the world.” – Malcolm X
64. “If not now then when, if not me then who?” – Malcolm X
65. “The only thing power respects, is power.” – Malcolm X
66. “Learn to see, listen, and think for yourself.” – Malcolm X
67. “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
68. “Anytime anyone is enslaved or in any way deprived of his liberty, that person, as a human being, as far as I’m concerned he is justified to resort to whatever methods necessary to bring about his liberty again.” – Malcolm X
69. “Daring to reach, to climb, to crawl, to scratch, to get back up when you’ve been knocked down, to push forward – ever forward – to forgive. It means sacrificing everything if necessary, to carve out a place for your own existence. It means living.” – Malcolm X
70. “Concerning non-violence: it is criminal to teach a man not to defend himself when he is the constant victim of brutal attacks.” – Malcolm X
71. “You can always chase a dream but it will not count if you never catch it.” – Malcolm X
72. “How can you thank a man for giving you what’s already yours?” – Malcolm X
73. “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.” – Malcolm X
74. “I am a Muslim and…my religion makes me be against all forms of racism. It keeps me from judging any man by the color of his skin. It teaches me to judge him by his deeds.” – Malcolm X
75. “It is only after the deepest darkness that the greatest light can come; it is only after extreme grief that the greatest joy can come.” – Malcolm X
Did you find these quotes by Malcolm X inspiring?
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