42 quotes from The Autobiography of Malcolm X

Page numbers in parens.Β 


“I learned early that crying out in protest could accomplish things.” [8]

“The more I began to stay away from home and visit people and steal from the stores, the more aggressive I became in my inclinations. I never wanted to wait for anything.” [15]

“I have always felt…that the black ‘leader’ whom white men consider to be ‘responsible’ is invariably the black ‘leader’ who never gets any results.” [389]


“I don’t care how nice one is to you, the thing you must always remember is that almost never does he really see you as he sees himself, as he sees his own kind.” [28]

β€œβ€¦the collective white man had acted like a devil in virtually every contact he had with the world’s collective non-white man.” [181]

“For the white man to ask the black man if he hates him is just like the rapist asking the raped, or the wolf asking the sheep, ‘Do you hate me?’ The white man is in no moral position to accuse anyone else of hate! Why, when all of my ancestors are snake-bitten, and I’m snake-bitten, and I warn my children to avoid snakes, what does that snake sound like accusing me of hate-teaching? ” [245]

“I can’t turn around without hearing about some ‘civil rights advance’! White people seem to think the black ought to be shouting ‘hallelujah’! Four hundred years the white man has had his foot-long knife in the black man’s back – and now the white man starts to wiggle the knife out, maybe six inches! The black man’s supposed to be grateful? Why, if the white man jerked the knife out, it’s still going to leave a scar!” [275]

“Here was one of the white man’s most characteristic behavior patterns — where black men are concerned. He loves himself so much that he is startled if he discovers that his victims don’t share his vainglorious self-opinion.” [243]

“The black masses want not to be shrunk from as though they are plague-ridden. They want not to be walled up in slums, in the ghettos, like animals. They want to live in an open, free society where they can walk with their heads up, like men, and women! Few white people realize that many black people today dislike and avoid spending more time than they must about white people. This ‘integration’ image, as it is popularly interpreted, has millions of vain, self-exalted white people convinced that black people want to sleep in bed with them – and that’s a lie!” [278]

“The black man in North America was economically sick and that was evident in one simple fact: as a consumer, he got less than his share, and as a producer gave least. The black American today shows us the perfect parasite image – the black tick under the delusion that he is progressing because he rides on the udder of the fat, three-stomached cow that is white America.” [320]

“That morning was when I first began to reappraise the ‘white man.’ It was when I first began to perceive that ‘white man,’ as commonly used, means complexion only secondarily; primarily it described attitudes and actions.” [340]

“The whites of the younger generation, in the colleges and universities, will see the handwriting on the wall and many of them will turn to the spiritual path of truth.” [348]

“In the past, yes, I have made sweeping indictments of all white people. I never will be guilty of that again – as I know now that some white people are truly sincere, that some truly are capable of being brotherly toward a black man. The true Islam has shown me that a blanket indictment of all white people is as wrong as when whites made blanket indictments against blacks.” [369]

“It isn’t the American white man who is a racist, but it’s the American political, economic and social atmosphere that automatically nourishes a racist psychology in the white man.” [378]

β€œThe white man is not inherently evil, but America’s racist society influences him to act evilly. The society has produced and nourishes a psychology which brings out the lowest, most base part of human beings.” [378]

“Where the really sincere white people have got to do their ‘proving’ of themselves is not among the black victims, but out on the battle lines of where America’s racism really is — and that’s in their own home communities.” [383]


“Any person who claims to have deep feeling for other human beings should think a long, long time before he votes to have other men kept behind bars – caged. I am not saying there shouldn’t be prisons, but there shouldn’t be bars. Behind bars, a man never reforms. He will never forget. He never will get completely over the memory of the bars.” [155]

β€œβ€¦among all Negroes the black convict is the most perfectly preconditioned to hear the words, ‘the white man is the devil.'” [186]


“One day, I remember, a dirty glass of water was on a counter and Mr. Muhammad put a clean glass of water beside it. ‘You want to know how to spread my teachings?’ he said, and he pointed to the glass of water. ‘Don’t condemn if you see a person has a dirty glass of water,’ he said, ‘just show them the clean glass of water that you have. When they inspect it, you won’t have to say that yours is better.'” [209]

“The color-blindness of the Muslim world’s religious society and the color-blindness of the Muslim world’s human society: these two influences had each day been making a greater impact, and an increasing persuasion against my previous way of thinking.” [345]


“Today’s Uncle Tom doesn’t wear a handkerchief on his head. This modern, twentieth-century Uncle Thomas now often wears a top hat. He’s usually well-dressed and well-educated. He’s often the personification of culture and refinement. The twentieth-century Uncle Thomas sometimes speaks with a Yale or Harvard accent. Sometimes he is known as Professor, Doctor, Judge, and Reverend, even Right Reverend Doctor. This twentieth-century Uncle Thomas is a professional Negro —by that I mean his profession is being a Negro for the white man.” [248]

“No sane black man really wants integration! No sane white man really wants integration!” [250]

β€œSince Western society is deteriorating, it has become overrun with immorality, and God is going to judge it, and destroy it. And the only way the black people caught up in this society can be saved is not to integrate into this corrupt society, but to separate from it, to a land of our own, where we can reform ourselves, lift up our moral standards and try to be godly.” [250]

“We reject segregation even more militantly than you say you do! We want separation, which is not the same! The Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches us that segregation is when your life and liberty are controlled, regulated, by someone else. To segregate means to control. Segregation is that which is forced upon inferiors by superiors. But separation is that which is done voluntarily, by two equals — for the good of both!” [250]

“Negroes don’t even like snails! What they’re doing is proving they’re integrated.” [281]


“The black man in North America was sickest of all politically. He let the white man divide him into such foolishness as considering himself a black ‘Democrat,’ a black ‘Republican,’ a black ‘Conservative,’ or a black ‘Liberal’ …when a ten-million black vote bloc could be the deciding balance of power in American politics, because the white man’s vote is almost always evenly divided.” [320]

“Whenever any group can vote in a bloc, and decide the outcome of elections, and it fails to do this, then that group is politically sick.” [321]

“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.” [321]

“The cornerstones of this country’s operation are economic and political strength and power. The black man doesn’t have the economic strength – and it will take time for him to build it. But right now the American black man has the political strength and power to change his destiny overnight.” [322]

“‘Conservatism’ in America’s politics means ‘Let’s keep the niggers in their place. And ‘liberalism’ means ‘Let’s keep the knee-grows in their place – but tell them we’ll treat them a little better; let’s fool them more, with more promises.’ With these choices, I felt that the American black man only needed to choose, which one to be eaten by, the ‘liberal’ fox or the ‘conservative’ wolf – because both of them would eat him. [At least] in a wolf’s den, I’d always known exactly where I stood; I’d watch the dangerous wolf closer than I would the smooth, sly fox. The wolf’s very growling would keep me alert and fighting him to survive, whereas I might be lulled and fooled by the tricky fox.” [380]


“It has always been my belief that I, too, will die by violence. I have done all that I can to be prepared.” [2]

“Any number of my former brothers felt they would make heroes of themselves in the Nation of Islam if they killed me. …I knew that no one would kill you quicker than  Muslim if he felt that’s what Allah wanted him to do.” [323]

“And in the racial climate of this country today, it is anybody’s guess which of the ‘extremes’ in approach to the black man’s problems might personally meet a fatal catastrophe first – ‘non-violent’ Dr. King, or so-called ‘violent’ me.” [385]

“Anything I do today, I regard as urgent.” [385]

“Every morning when I wake up, now, I regard it as having another borrowed day.” [388]

“When I am dead – I say it that way because from the things I know, I do not expect to live long enough to read this book in its finished from – I want you to just watch and see if I’m not right when I say: that the white man, in his press, is going to identify me with ‘hate.'” [389]


“They asked if I knew what ‘conscientious objector’ meant. I told them that when the white man asked me to go off somewhere and fight and maybe die to preserve the way the white man treated the black man in America, then my conscience made me object.” [207]

“America’s most dangerous and threatening black man is the one who has been kept sealed up by the Northerner in the black ghettos – the Northern white power structure’s system to keep talking democracy while keeping the black man out of sight somewhere, around the corner.” [277]

β€œThe American Negro has been entirely brainwashed from ever seeing or thinking of himself, as he should, as a part of the non-white peoples of the world.” [352]

“New York white youth were killing victims; that was a ‘sociological’ problem. But when black youth killed somebody, the power structure was looking to hang somebody.” [368]

“I believe it’s a crime for anyone who is being brutalized to continue to accept that brutality without doing something to defend himself.” [374]

“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.” [376]

16 thoughts on “42 quotes from The Autobiography of Malcolm X”

  1. A great man.

    It’s frustrating that we still have to use pretexts and euphemisms for the emotional degradation mothers have on their children. It’s “Society” or “the system”. It’s “the machine” or the “atmosphere” that brings out the self-defeating cannibalism in humans. You can’t say mothers are preying on their own with lies and shame.

    They’ll call it hatred of women. That’s what the misogynist women will say. “He hates women.” But as Malcolm X said, “It’s not hate if it’s true.”

  2. One. white people wer slaves before black people,but everyone forgot about that and have you heard of mind control aka brainwashing it’s a real thing by cia and elites to tear us apart divided we fall do some research and schools teach bit s and peace s and lies. White people get done the same as black unless you are at every place every insident , white people get thrown under the bus cause everyone is only being told that its the white s fault they are doing this and they made you slaves they made you not have a job they did it all that’s called brainwashing everyone. We are all being suppressed we all are being degraded. agenda 21 is for all for freedom is being taken from all of us. This is racism at its finest understanding were it was created and who created it and how the government controled media will always push blame to only white people should throw a red flag. That racism rite there. And not being able to say what we want is taking away a freedom givin by God do some research on cia and agenda 21 and how they divide us to control us all

    1. I dont understand why Malcom X says black people are parasite figures when clearly shows from media lying we were already here before whites had invaded the us that doesn’t mean we were to all be enslaved on a boat from Africa and then listen to a shitty master. If anything the bible had blinded many people to believe in the religious doctrines of Christianity for whites and blacks to hate and kill each other through a book…and tell me if that’s the root of racism???? Obviously the same goes for Islam too and that’s why Malcom X got killed for thinking of his religious standards of healing America which was clearly wrong and irrational cause many whites have gone through tough times of slavery, govt oppression, and religious with BLACK people!!!! and they’re not the victims of being a racist because only a person who believes other races should die would have to listen from their god and irrational religious book of evil stupid magic.

  3. Malcolm x was nothing more than a white hater. He forgot to say that black people were sold into slavery by black people. Still today there are some black people that think they are entitled because of their color. I know some black people that are very smart and work hard and never ever use their color to try to pretend they are entitled. If you want to call yourself an african- american when you live in the u s, you should be saying american first by the way, then go back to africa.

    1. When reading your statement, my first reaction was to say FUCK YOU, however, I realize that you live in privilege (even if just mentally). That makes you ignorant to what someone has gone through. Do you truly understand what Black people in this country has gone through and continues to go through? Of course not. Have you read ANY BOOKS that explain the history of this country and what has been done and continues to do to Black people? Of course not, and you probably do not care. Next time you tell someone to go back to Africa, know the history of Europe and how it has raped and pillaged everywhere it has gone. If life was so fair for EVERYONE, there would be no need for a Malcolm X or a Dr. King. Know that history, and when you know that, you will know there are others who want you go to back to Europe just as much as you want Black people to go to Africa.

      1. Opposing View- Oh this person knows very well what black people in this country has gone through. Because more likely than not, he/she is apart of the problem. Amerikkka is the most racist country in the world. So there are no white people who’s ignorant to the racism that exist towards us, whether past or present day. They just like to play dumb, in order to hear what we have to say. Even the “good whites” who are “not racist”. Nice white associates, co-workers or friends. EVEN the white men/women that some of us choose to date, marry, have children with. Trust me, THEY ALL KNOW!!! DO NOT BE FOOLED!!! Now here is a question that I’m posing to black people who are reading this. Concerning the white people I’ve mentioned in the latter category (right before the “Trust me..”). How many of them have actually made moves, to help to change the situation in this country for BLACK PEOPLE??? White women and men have white privilege. So how many of them are making moves so that it’ll no longer be such a thing as “white privilege”. It’ll now be called “Everybody’s Privilege”??? Food for thought indeed…

    2. What they needed at that time was someone to confront racism not to sit and wait to ask to stop the Jim Crow laws. If Malcolm x didn’t do what he did during that time it could have taken 10 or more years to get rid of them. Learn your topic before you speak

    3. Malcolm, or any black American, has every right to hate white people. Your comment is very typical of a racist narcissist, who likes to minimize the wrong of your people, while you demonize and maximize on the wrong of the people of whom you hate. I mean, even the term “black entitlement” is an oxymoron. Very creative how you’ve tried to use that term, in order to bring deflection to what white people really have in this country called “white privilege”. Yes, I suppose this “black entitlement” that we have going on is sooo strong that our people are being shot dead unarmed at traffic stops. The racist police are getting off scott-free, by the white supremacist court systems. Even today, we are still the last ones hired and the first ones fired, more than any other group of people in this country. Yeah, that’s black entitlement for you, alright.

      As far as our need to go back to Africa is concerned. We’ll do that when you take your asses back to Europe. You the country that your bottom-feeder, criminal sluts and thug ancestors had gotten kicked out of??? That’s where you need to go. While you on your way, go stop by your greatest grandparents grave sights, curse them out, and spit on grave sites ok. Because our ancestors were living in our African countries minding their own business when your ancestors came and took my ancestors against their wills to the Carribean and Amerikkka ok. If it wasn’t for the African coming here as slaves, the Americas, the Carribean and even Europe, would be still looking like 3rd world countries.

      So if you want us gone, you and you lil like minded friends, need to get together and sign a petition for black Americans to get restitution. After that goes through maybe then we could have a conversation about us leaving. Trust me, I know first hand of quite a few of us would LOVE to leave KKK-ville, if we had the money. Otherwise , you need to STFU, because the only people who actually belong here are the natives, not you.

  4. Malcolm X symbolizes and his life in total shows that color cannot be changed but culture can. The culture and behaviors will determine success. No matter, how right it is that racism has harmed black people, their is no solutiion in the past. The same cultural rules that work for Jews the world over, should be copied. They work. Blaming white people for racism ends up where it started, no progress.
    Malcolm X told and spoke as he changed and he exposed the fraudulentt heart of victim based thinking and the river of money it attracted and he was murdered for it.

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