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Malcolm X died 57 years ago this day. Here are 9 quotes of his that remain relevant even today.

The civil rights pioneer contributed vastly to the movement, forming the basis of campaigns for justice and equality in the contemporary world.

Malcolm X died 57 years ago this day. Here are 9 quotes of his that remain relevant even today.
Image Source: Malcolm X. Portrait of human rights activist Malcolm X reading stories about himself in a pile of newspapers, circa 1963. (Photo by Three Lions/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Civil rights icon Malcolm X was assassinated on February 21 in the year 1965. Despite how long it has been since his passing, his work and legacy remain relevant today as we continue to seek equity and justice in 21st century America. Born in 1925 in Omaha, Nebraska, Malcolm X led a tumultuous life. His father was found dead on tram tracks when he was six years old and his mother was soon after admitted to a psychiatric hospital in Michigan. Therefore, he spent much of his childhood living with foster parents. At the age of 15, he moved to Boston, where he lived in the largely African-American neighborhood of Roxbury. This is where he returned after a stint in New York City, working on the New Haven Railroad.

Malcolm X has been described as one of the most influential figures in civil rights history. Many believe he was responsible for raising the self-esteem of Black Americans and reconnecting them with their African heritage. As an outsider to the mainstream civil rights movement, the pioneer has oft been credited with better articulating concerns concerning inequality. Following his death, increasingly radical Black activists based their movements on Malcolm X and his teachings. For instance, the Black Power movement, the Black Arts Movement, and the widespread adoption of the slogan "Black is beautiful" can all trace their roots to Malcolm X. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that many of his words remain powerful to this day.


1. On Peace and Freedom

You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.” – speech in New York, January 7, 1965, “Malcolm X Speaks”

2. On Patriotism

“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.”― Malcolm X, “By Any Means Necessary”


3. On Love, Understanding, and Unity

“We need more light about each other. Light creates understanding, understanding creates love, love creates patience, and patience creates unity.”

4. On Truth and Justice

“I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.”


5. On Capitalism

“You show me a capitalist, and I’ll show you a bloodsucker.”

6. On the Media

“If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”


7. On Reading

“Read absolutely everything you get your hands on because you’ll never know where you’ll get an idea from.” – from “Malcolm X Speaks: Selected Speeches and Statements“

8. On Human Rights

“It is not a Negro problem, nor an American problem. This is a world problem, a problem for humanity. It is not a problem of civil rights, it is a problem of human rights.” – speech to the OAU

9. On Biased Depictions

“Victims of racism are created in the image of racists. When the victims struggle vigorously to protect themselves from violence of others, they are made to appear in the image of criminals; as the criminal image is projected onto the victim.” – Harvard Law School Forum of December 16, 1964


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