37 Notable Malcolm X Quotes on Racism and Race Relations

37 Notable Malcolm X Quotes on Racism and Race Relations

“Speaking like this doesn’t mean that we’re anti-white, but it does mean we’re anti-exploitation, we’re anti-degradation, we’re anti-oppression.”

“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.”

“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.”

“Sitting at the table doesn’t make you a diner, unless you eat 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.”

“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.”

“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. It’s their guilt that upsets them, not me.”

“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.”

“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…”

“Time is on the side of the oppressed today, it’s against the oppressor. Truth is on the side of the oppressed today, it’s against the oppressor. You don’t need anything else.”

“We black men have a hard enough time in our own struggle for justice, and already have enough enemies as it is, to make the drastic mistake of attacking each other and adding more weight to an already unbearable load.”

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

“Nonviolence is fine as long as it works.”

“I am for violence if non-violence means we continue postponing a solution to the American black man’s problem just to avoid violence.”

“There can be no black-white unity until there is first some black unity. 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.”

“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.”

“I believe that there will ultimately be a clash between the oppressed and those that do the oppressing. I believe that there will be a clash between those who want freedom, justice and equality for everyone and those who want to continue the systems of exploitation.”

“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.”

“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.”

“I am neither a fanatic nor a dreamer. I am a black man who loves peace, and justice, and loves his people.”

“A race of people is like an individual man; until it uses its own talent, takes pride in its own history, expresses its own culture, affirms its own selfhood, it can never fulfill itself.”

“I believe in the brotherhood of all men, but I don’t believe in wasting brotherhood on anyone who doesn’t want to practice it with me. Brotherhood is a two-way street.”

“I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it’s for or against.”

“You don’t have to be a man to fight for freedom. All you have to do is to be an intelligent human being.”

“The real names of our people were destroyed during slavery. The last name of my forefathers was taken from them when they were brought to America and made slaves, and then the name of the slave master was given, which we refuse, we reject that name today and refuse it. I never acknowledge it whatsoever.”

“One day, may we all meet together in the light of understanding.”

“We are nonviolent with people who are nonviolent with us.”

“The day that the black man takes an uncompromising step and realizes that he’s within his rights, when his own freedom is being jeopardized, to use any means necessary to bring about his freedom or put a halt to that injustice, I don’t think he’ll be by himself.”

“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.”

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

“You can’t hate the roots of a tree and not hate the tree. You can’t hate Africa and not hate yourself.”

“My black brothers and sisters – of all religious beliefs, or of no religious beliefs – we all have in common the greatest binding tie we could have. We are all black people!”

“Segregation is that which is forced upon an inferior by a superior. Separation is done voluntarily by two equals.”

“If you turn the other cheek, you can be enslaved for 1,000 years.”

“I want to take Negroes out of the ghetto and put them in good neighborhoods in good houses.”

“Do you know what integration really means? It means intermarriage. That’s the real point behind it. You can’t have it without intermarriage. And that would result in disintegration of both races.”

“Integration will not bring a man back from the grave.”

 “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.” 

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