Malcolm X, whose real name was Malcolm Little (and changed to El-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz when he converted to Islam), was an American human and racial rights advocate.

Born in 1925, African-American Malcolm X is one of the most remembered and mythical black leaders in the history of the United States . He lived a childhood full of suffering: his father was killed for attending demonstrations in defense of workers, and his mother was admitted to a mental hospital. However, Malcolm X made his own way in activism and on the spiritual plane. His legacy, being hailed as one of the brightest leaders for African American rights.

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Phrases and famous quotes from Malcolm X

He’s had a rough life. After arriving in New York from his native Nebraska, Malcolm Little joined various organized crime gangs, which landed him in jail in 1945. This bad life led him to reflect and embrace Islam.

In today’s article we will remember his facet as a speaker and activist with the best phrases of Malcolm X. During the time when he was reaching his intellectual maturity, a revolution was taking place in North America that would lead to the end of apartheid and other racist practices. However, the mission started by Malcolm X, Rosa Parks or Martin Luther King is still unfinished.

1. You cannot separate peace from freedom, because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.

A reflection on racial segregation. Without equality there is no freedom, and without freedom there can be no peace.

2. The United States has a very serious problem. Not only does America have a very serious problem, but our people have a very serious problem. America’s problem is us. We are their problem. The only reason she has a problem is that she doesn’t want us here.

Referring to African-American citizens, in a 1963 statement.

3. I have more respect for a man who lets me know where he is, even if he is wrong. Than the other who comes as an angel but turns out to be a devil.

About the hypocrisy.

4. No one can give you your freedom. No one can give you your equality or justice or anything else. If you are a man, take it.

A phrase of Malcolm very remembered since it enunciates the principle of self-determination.

5. I do not believe in any form of unjustified extremism! But when a human being is exercising extremism in defense of freedom for human beings it is not a vice, and when one is moderate in the pursuit of justice for human beings I say that he is a sinner.

Dignity does not understand moderation or caution.

6. The hinge that squeaks is the one that gets the oil.

If you want to achieve something, make yourself heard and find a way to do it.

7. Education is the passport to the future; tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.

Knowledge is born from long hours between books and reflections.

8. Usually, when people are sad they don’t do anything. They just cry about their condition. But when they are angry, they bring about change.

From anger can emerge protest and, with it, the possibility of subverting an unjust order.

9. You can’t have capitalism without racism.

In this sentence, Malcolm X makes clear his convictions on the political left.

10. The truth is on the side of the oppressed.

A way of conceiving social reality far removed from the discourse of power.

11. I believe in human rights for all, and none of us is qualified to judge others and none of us should therefore have that authority.

An approach that can only be defended from an anarchist position.

12. Whether we are Christians or Muslims or nationalists or agnostics or atheists, we must first learn to forget our differences. If there are differences between us, we are going to keep them in the closet; when we go out on the street there is nothing to discuss between us until we have finished arguing with that white man.

A phrase that invites believers of different religious denominations to respect and love each other.

13. I am and always will be a Muslim. My religion is Islam.

In his last years of life, Malcolm X converted to Sunism.

14. Our goal is complete freedom, justice and equality, by any means necessary.

He was not the prophet of non-violence. He was an advocate for achieving equality among citizens by whatever means necessary.

15. This does not mean that I defend violence, but at the same time, I am not against using violence in self-defence. I do not call it violence when it is in self-defence, I call it intelligence.

Another sentence in the same sense as the previous one.

16. If you are not warned before the media, they will make you love the oppressor and hate the oppressed.

As Noam Chomsky would say decades later, the media has a great ability to manipulate and direct mass opinion.

17. I’m for the truth, no matter who says it. I am for justice, no matter who is for or against it. I am a human being, first of all, and as such I am for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.

A declaration of ethical principles.

18. All praise is to Allah, the Lord of all worlds.

Taken from one of his religious prayers.

19. History is the memory of a people, and without memory, man degrades the lower animals.

A phrase that will not be well received among animal activists.

20. We must always bear in mind that we are not fighting for integration, nor are we fighting for separation. We are fighting for recognition… For the right of free human beings to live in this society.

Excerpt from one of his most memorable public speeches.

21. Wherever you go and whatever you do, always remember that we are still brothers and sisters, and that we always have the same problem. We will not waste time in condemning each other and fighting each other. We have already lost too much in the past.

In this phrase, Malcolm X calls for unity and compassion among African Americans.

22. If you don’t stand up for something, you will die for nothing.

It is necessary to rebel when society is unjust.

23. If you are not prepared to die for her, take the word freedom out of your vocabulary.

The second half of the 20th century was a time for the brave, for citizens committed to their ideals of brotherhood.

24. There is nothing better than adversity. Every defeat, every anguish, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance next time.

A motivating phrase that explains the meaning of continuing to fight.