Malcolm X, born Malcolm Little, Muslim name El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz

Malcolm
X, born Malcolm Little, Muslim name El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz
1925
1965

African-American Muslim Minister, Human Rights Activist

Author Quotes

If the master's house caught on fire, the house Negro would fight harder to put the blaze out than the master would. If the master got sick, the house Negro would say, "What's the matter, boss, we sick?" We sick! He identified himself with his master, more than his master identified with himself. And if you came to the house Negro and said, "Let's run away, let's escape, let's separate," the house Negro would look at you and say, "Man, you crazy. What you mean, separate? Where is there a better house than this? Where can I wear better clothes than this? Where can I eat better food than this?" That was that house Negro. In those days he was called a "house nigger." And that's what we call them today, because we've still got some house niggers running around here.

I'm sorry to say that the subject I most disliked was mathematics. I have thought about it. I think the reason was that mathematics leaves no room for argument. If you made a mistake, that was all there was to it.

It was the funniest thing, the reaction, and the way that it spread. In prison, where so little breaks the monotonous routine, the smallest thing causes a commotion of talk. It was being mentioned all over the cell block by night that Satan didn't eat pork.

My alma mater was books, a good library - I could spend the rest of my life reading, just satisfying my curiosity

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

So those of us whose political, and economic, and social philosophy is black nationalism have become involved in the civil rights struggle. We have injected ourselves into the civil rights struggle, and we intend to expand it from the level of civil rights to the level of human rights. As long as you?re fighting on the level of civil rights, you?re under Uncle Sam?s jurisdiction. You?re going to his court expecting him to correct the problem. He created the problem. He?s the criminal. You don?t take your case to the criminal; you take your criminal to court.

The government has departments to deal with the special interest groups that make themselves heard and felt. A Department of Agriculture cares for the farmers? needs. There is a Department of Health, Education and Welfare. There is a Department of the Interior ? in which the Indians are included. Is the farmer, the doctor, the Indian, the greatest problem in America today? No ? it is the black man! There ought to be a Pentagon-sized Washington department dealing with every segment of the black man?s problems.

The problem facing our people here in America is bigger than all other personal or organizational differences. Therefore as leaders, we must stop worrying about the threat we seem to think we pose to each other's personal prestige; and concentrate our united efforts towards solving the unending hurt that is being done daily to our people here in America.

These negroes aren't asking for no nation. They wanna crawl back on the plantation.

Times change so quickly that if you and I don't keep up with the times, we'll find ourselves with an umbrella in our hand, over our head, when the sun is out. Or we'll find ourselves standing in the rain, with the umbrella inside the door.

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

When a person places the proper value on freedom, there is nothing under the sun that he will not do to acquire that freedom. Whenever you hear a man saying he wants freedom, but in the next breath he is going to tell you what he won't do to get it, or what he doesn't believe in doing in order to get it, he doesn't believe in freedom. A man who believes in freedom will do anything under the sun to acquire... or preserve his freedom.

You and I in America are faced not with a segregationist conspiracy; we?re faced with a government conspiracy. Everyone who?s filibustering is a senator?that?s the government. Everyone who?s finagling in Washington, D.C., is a congressman?that?s the government. You don?t have anybody putting blocks in your path but people who are a part of the government. The same government that you go abroad to fight for and die for is the government that is in a conspiracy to deprive you of your voting rights, deprive you of your economic opportunities, deprive you of decent housing, deprive you of decent education. You don?t need to go to the employer alone, it is the government itself, the government of America, that is responsible for the oppression and exploitation and degradation of black people in this country. And you should drop it in their lap. This government has failed the Negro. This so-called democracy has failed the Negro. And all these white liberals have definitely failed the Negro.

You put the government on the spot when you even mention Vietnam. They feel embarrassed ? you notice that?... It's just a trap that they let themselves get into... But they're trapped, they can't get out. You notice I said 'they.' They are trapped, They can't get out. If they pour more men in, they'll get deeper. If they pull the men out, it's a defeat. And they should have known that in the first place. France had about 200,000 Frenchmen over there, and the most highly mechanized modern army sitting on this earth. And those little rice farmers ate them up, and their tanks, and everything else. Yes, they did, and France was deeply entrenched, had been there a hundred or more years. Now, if she couldn't stay there and was entrenched, why, you are out of your mind if you think Sam can get in over there. But we're not supposed to say that. If we say that, we're anti-American, or we're seditious, or we're subversive... They put Diem over there. Diem took all their money, all their war equipment and everything else, and got them trapped. Then they killed him. Yes, they killed him, murdered him in cold blood, him and his brother, Madame Nhu's husband, because they were embarrassed. They found out that they had made him strong and he was turning against them... You know, when the puppet starts talking back to the puppeteer, the puppeteer is in bad shape.

If the so-called ?Christianity? now being practiced in America displays the best that world Christianity has left to offer ? no one in his right mind should need any much greater proof that very close at hand is the end of Christianity.

I'm the man you think you are.... If you want to know what I'll do, figure out what you'll do. I'll do the same thing--only more of it.

It?ll be the ballot or it?ll be the bullet. It?ll be liberty or it?ll be death. And if you?re not ready

My family was so poor we were close to eating the holes inside of doughnuts.

Only the mistakes were mine.

Sometimes you have to pick the gun up to put the Gun down.

The government has failed us; you can?t deny that. Anytime you live in the twentieth century, 1964, and you?re walking around here singing ?We Shall Overcome,? the government has failed us. This is part of what?s wrong with you -- you do too much singing. Today it?s time to stop singing and start swinging. You can?t sing up on freedom, but you can swing up on some freedom. Cassius Clay can sing, but singing didn?t help him to become the heavyweight champion of the world; swinging helped him become the heavyweight champion.

The question tonight, as I understand it, is "The Negro Revolt, and Where Do We Go From Here?" or "What Next?" In my little humble way of understanding it, it points toward either the ballot or the bullet.

These senators and congressmen actually violate the constitutional amendments that guarantee the people of that particular state or county the right to vote. And the Constitution itself has within it the machinery to expel any representative from a state where the voting rights of the people are violated. You don?t even need new legislation. Any person in Congress right now, who is there from a state or a district where the voting rights of the people are violated, that particular person should be expelled from Congress. And when you expel him, you?ve removed one of the obstacles in the path of any real meaningful legislation in this country. In fact, when you expel them, you don?t need new legislation, because they will be replaced by black representatives from counties and districts where the black man is in the majority, not in the minority.

To have once been a criminal is no disgrace. To remain a criminal is the disgrace.

We didn't land on Plymouth rock, Plymouth rock landed on us.

Author Picture
First Name
Malcolm
Last Name
X, born Malcolm Little, Muslim name El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz
Birth Date
1925
Death Date
1965
Bio

African-American Muslim Minister, Human Rights Activist