Skip to main content
Malcolm X

Malcolm X Quotes

Quotes by and about Malcolm X

(Continued from his main entry on the site.)

Malcolm X: "The 'squares' out there whose boat has been in smooth waters all the time turn up their noses at an ex-con. But an ex-con can keep his head up when the 'squares' sink."

Malcolm X: "Children have a lesson adults should learn, to not be ashamed of failing, but to get up and try again. Most of us adults are so afraid, so cautious, so 'safe,' and therefore so shrinking and rigid and afraid that it is why so many humans fail. Most middle-aged adults have resigned themselves to failure."

Malcolm X: "This was my first lesson about gambling: if you see somebody winning all the time, he isn't gambling, he's cheating. Later on in life, if I were continuously losing in any gambling situation, I would watch very closely."

Malcolm X: "Early in life I had learned that if you want something, you had better make some noise."

Malcolm X as a boy

Malcolm X: "As bad as I was, as much trouble and worry as I caused my mother, I loved her."

Malcolm X: "I have rarely talked to anyone about my mother, for I believe that I am capable of killing a person, without hesitation, who happened to make the wrong kind of remark about my mother. So I purposely don't make any opening for some fool to step into."

Malcolm X: "[One of my brothers] read a lot. His head was forever in some book."

Malcolm X: "All of us were mischievous at some time or another, I more so than any of the rest. [My brother] Philbert and I kept a battle going. ... Even in our fighting, there was a feeling of brotherly union."

Malcolm X: "[My half-sister] Ella and I always were much closer as basic types; we're dominant people, and [my other half-sister] Mary has always been mild and quiet, almost shy."

Young Malcolm X

Malcolm X: "I'd danced with plenty of good partners. But what I became suddenly aware of with Laura was that I'd never before felt so little weight! I'd nearly just think a maneuver, and she'd respond. As she danced up, down, under my arm, flinging out, while I felt her out and examined her style, I glimpsed her footwork. I can close my eyes right now and see it, like some blurring ballet - beautiful!"

Malcolm X: "[At a young age] I had learned enough about women to know not to pressure them when they're thinking something out; they'll tell you when they're ready."

Malcolm X: "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."

Young Malcolm X

Malcolm X: "I believe in a religion that believes in freedom. Any time I have to accept a religion that won't let me fight a battle for my people, I say to hell with that religion."

Malcolm X: "I'm for truth, no matter who tells it. I'm for justice, no matter who it's for or against."

Malcolm X: "The mental flexibility of the wise man permits him to keep an open mind and enables him to readjust himself whenever it becomes necessary for a change."

Alex Haley: "He actually had a reluctant admiration for Dr. King."