Malcolm X as he officially wanted to be called was a black American nationalist, human rights activist and religious leader who was assassinated on February 21, 1965 at the age of 39.
Tirelessly, he fought for the emancipation of black Americans. Malcolm had a very tough and rough beginning; was orphaned and lived in several foster homes; got in and out of trouble till his contact with Elijah Muhammad, the leader of the Nation of Islam, who helped him direct his vision towards the emancipation of “Afro-Americans” under the auspices of the Nation of Islam.
Malcolm completed his PhD programme behind bars but like his father and uncles (victims of racism), he was ‘supposedly’ assassinated by his later estranged brothers from the brotherhood. Malcom, the former spokesperson of the Islamic brotherhood, broke out of the group and founded Muslim Mosque Inc. His passionate vision for a better black community made him popular, thus inflamed jealousy in the brotherhood.
At first, the revolutionary irrationally campaigned for a complete severing of ties with the white community but later added a touch of accommodation to it, thereby preaching respect and ‘equal’ justice for both white and black races. The later subtlety that came with his personality did not in any way deter his brave and fiery side. It is a fact that he was a formidable force that the ‘white’ government could not easily subdue; he was strong till the end. Rumour has it that the United State’s government ‘turned a blind eye’ to the assassination plot of Malcom X.
Below are some of the witty, realistic, brilliant and lovable quotes of this fire-brand:
1. Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.
2. It is criminal to teach a man not to defend himself, when he is the constant victim of brutal attacks. It is legal and lawful to own a shotgun or a rifle. We believe in obeying the law.
3. Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you’re a man, you take it.
4. You can’t separate peace from freedom, because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.
5. When “I” is replaced with “we”, even illness becomes wellness.
6. History is a people’s memory, and without a memory, man is demoted to the lower animals.
7. Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery.
8. Truth is on the side of the oppressed.
9. I believe in human beings, and that all human beings should be respected as such, regardless of their color.
10. In my recent travels into African countries and others, I was impressed by the importance of having a working unity among all peoples, black as well as white.
11. If you are in a country that is progressive, the woman is progressive… But in every backward country you’ll find the women are backward, and in every country where education is not stressed its because the women don’t have education.
12. My alma mater was books, a good library…. I could spend the rest of my life reading, just satisfying my curiosity.
13. 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
14. 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 the next time.
15. They don’t stand for anything different in South Africa than America stands for. The only difference is over there they preach as well as practice apartheid. America preaches freedom and practices slavery.
16. You’re not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or who says it.
17. A man who stands for nothing, will fall for anything.
18. The price of freedom is death.
19. Here I am, back in Mecca. I am still traveling, trying to broaden my mind, for I’ve seen too much of the damage narrow-mindedness can make of things, and when I return home to America, I will devote what energies I have to repairing the damage
20. I am neither a fanatic nor a dreamer. I am a black man who loves peace, and justice, and loves his people.