On the 57th anniversary of the assassination of Malcolm X, we take a look at some of the activist’s most memorable quotes.
Malcolm X was a prominent human rights activist who rose to prominence as the chief spokesman for the Nation of Islam.
He has been credited with laying the foundations of the Black Power movement in the United States and being an advocate for black empowerment.
The leader was assassinated while giving a talk at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem in 1965; according to his biography, he was pronounced dead at 3:30 p.m. (8:30 p.m. GMT) on February 21. He would be 96 if he had lived.
Here are some of Malcolm X’s most famous quotes:
Optics in the media
In his autobiography, written with Roots author Alex Haley and published after his death in 1965, Malcolm X said:
“If you’re not careful, newspapers will make you hate oppressed people and love oppressive people.”
In the media, he said:
The media is the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that is power. Because they control the minds of the masses.
On learning and education:
In a speech to the founding rally of the Organization of African American Unity on June 28, 1964, the leader said:
“Education is an important element in the fight for human rights. This is the way to help our children and our people to rediscover their identity and thus increase their self-esteem.
Education is our passport to the future, because tomorrow belongs only to those who prepare for it today.
Malcolm X, in one of his last speeches at the Audubon Ballroom in New York, said:
“You show me a capitalist, and I’ll show you a bloodsucker.”
In his 1965 autobiography, he states:
“I have no pity or compassion in me for a society that will crush people and then penalize them for not being able to stand under the weight.”
On humanity, empathy and compassion
“I believe in recognizing every human being as a human being – not white, not black, not brown, not red; and when you deal with humanity as family, it’s not about integration or intermarriage,” Malcolm X said in his autobiography.
It’s just a human being marrying another human being or a human being living around and with another human being.
According to the 1991 book Martin & Malcolm & America: A Dream or a Nightmare, Malcolm X explained why he converted to Islam.
“I am a Muslim because it is a religion that teaches an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. It teaches you to respect everyone and treat everyone well. But it also teaches you that if someone steps on your toe, cut off their foot. And I carry my religious ax with me all the time”
In his autobiography he is also quoted as saying:
“America must understand Islam because it is the only religion that erases the racial problem from its society. Throughout my travels in the Muslim world, I have met, spoken and even eaten with people who in America would have been considered white, but the white attitude was suppressed from their minds by the religion of Islam. ‘Islam.
I have never yet seen a sincere and true brotherhood practiced by all together, whatever their color.
By taking the floor
“I learned early on that yelling in protest could get things done. My older siblings had started school when sometimes they would come and ask for a butter cookie or something and my mom, impatient, told them no.
“But I was screaming and fussing until I got what I wanted. I well remember how my mother asked me why I couldn’t be a nice boy like Wilfred; but I thought to myself that Wilfred, for being so kind and calm, often stayed hungry,” Malcolm X said in his autobiography.
“So early in life, I had learned that if you want something, you better make some noise.”