We remember the best thoughts of the African American leader El-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz.
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 defender.
Born in 1925, African American Malcolm X is one of the most remembered and mythical black leaders in American history. He lived a childhood full of suffering: his father was killed for attending demonstrations in defense of the workers, and his mother was admitted to a psychiatric hospital. However, Malcolm X went his own way in activism and on the spiritual plane. His legacy, being hailed as one of the brightest leaders for the rights of African Americans.
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Famous quotes and phrases from Malcolm X
He had a troubled 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 are going to recall his role as a lecturer and activist with the best phrases of Malcolm X. During the time when he reached 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 that Malcolm X, Rosa Parks or Martin Luther King began still remains unfinished.
1. You cannot separate peace from freedom, because no one can be at peace, unless they have their 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 your problem. The only reason she’s got a problem is that she doesn’t want us here.
Referring to Afro-American citizens, in a statement from 1963.
3. I have more respect for a man who lets me know where he is, even if he is wrong. Than the other one who comes as an angel but turns out to be a demon.
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 much remembered since it enunciates the principle of self-determination.
5. I do not believe in any form of unwarranted 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 squeaky hinge is the one that gets the oil.
If you want to achieve something, make yourself heard and find a way to achieve 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. Normally when people are sad they do nothing. They only cry over their condition. But when they are angry, they cause change.
Out of rage can emerge protest and, with it, the possibility of subverting an unjust order.
9. You cannot have capitalism without racism.
In this sentence, Malcolm X makes clear his convictions located 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. The same if we are Christians or if we are Muslims or nationalists or agnostics or atheists, we must first learn to forget our differences. If there are differences between us, we will have them in the closet; when we go out into 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 confessions 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 Sunnism.
14. Our goal is complete freedom, justice and equality, by whatever means necessary.
He was not the prophet of non-violence. He advocated reaching equality between citizens by whatever means were necessary.
15. This is not to say that I defend violence, but at the same time, I am not against using violence in self-defense. I don’t call it violence when it’s self-defense, I call it intelligence.
Another phrase in the same sense as the previous one.
16. If you are not alert to 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 the opinion of the masses.
17. I am for the truth, no matter who says it. I am for justice, no matter who is for or against. I am a human being, in the first place, and as such I am for whoever and what is benefits humanity as a whole.
A statement of ethical principles.
18. All praises are to Allah, the Lord of all worlds.
Extracted from one of his religious prayers.
19. History is the memory of a people, and without memory, man degrades himself to the lower animals.
A phrase that will not be well received among activists of animalism.
20. We have to bear in mind at all times that we are not fighting for integration, nor are we fighting for separation. We fight for recognition … For the right to live free human beings 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 condemning each other and we fight each other. We have already lost too much in the past.
In this sentence, Malcolm X calls for unity and compassion among African Americans.
22. If you don’t stand up for something, you will die for nothing.
You have to rebel when society is unfair.
23. If you are not prepared to die for it, remove the word freedom from 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 loss, every heartbreak, 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.