Malcolm X was an African-American Muslim and one of the most prophetic human rights activists in history. Courageous and determined with every word uttered from his mouth—yet humbled and teachable by his mishaps. He was filled with passion advocating for human rights for the Black community, regardless of all it's cost him. If you haven't read his autobiography that he had predominantly written alongside Alex Haley—you are definitely missing out.
X's autobiography shed light on how disciplined he was despite his circumstances and how willingly vulnerable he was in return for transformation to become a better version of himself. Malcolm X will forever be the muse for justice, as he mentioned, "A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything."
Here are some inspiring Malcolm X quotes to remind yourself of the power that lies within you for the times where you forget.
Malcolm X + Self-Love QuotesGiphy
"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 next time." – Malcolm X
I know life has flipped many of our lives upsides down due to the ongoing pandemic, but just know that all that we are enduring is serving a purpose in a significant way. Our God is an intentional God, so this season serves a purpose; even if life still looks a bit blurry, keep going.
"Anytime you see someone more successful than you are, they are doing something you aren't." - Malcolm X.
So when you have your moments of comparison, pause and pay attention to the little details because that's the part you're missing—focusing on the little details that work for your story, not someone else's. Focus on your lane, things may not always come on your timing, but they'll come when you're ready for that blessing; until then, stay present and do the best you can with what you have.
Malcolm X’s Appreciation for Black Women QuotesGiphy
If y'all didn't know prior, let me just tell you now Malcolm X was the hero for Black women. He recognized our struggles, spoke up about colorism issues, and he was ready to fight our battles if we were ever harmed.
"The most disrespected person in America is the Black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the Black woman. The most neglected person in America is the Black woman."—Malcolm X
His goals were set on doing whatever he had to do to uplift the Black community. Fifty plus years later, we're still dealing with the mindset of not feeling good enough or working twice as hard to get noticed in white spaces. We still have issues with colorism and texturism that was started by the white community and frowned upon within our own community. We have to do better, but we can only do better if we're willing to hold ourselves accountable for shifting such toxic mindsets.
"Who taught you to hate the color of your skin? Who taught you to hate the texture of your hair? Who taught you to hate the shape of your nose and the shape of your lips? Who taught you to hate yourself from the top of your head to the soles of your feet?" - Malcolm X
You are beautiful as you are. To my dark skin sisters, I see you and value you; you do NOT need to settle for just anybody because society claims your options are limited. Throw that myth away; you are as exquisite as they come, and you deserve the world, nothing less. Stop fetishizing light skin or biracial Black women; it's uncomfortable to be appreciated for our skin tone versus our character and what we add to society. To my sisters with 4C hair, learn to love it despite what the world perceives of how 'unmanageable' your hair is. Let out your afro shine or slay your natural styles if that's what you please.
We have to take away these beauty standards formulated by whiteness. Black features are astounding, I have my personal receipt of being teased for my big full lips as a child, and now every woman wants them. Our features are not trends; they hold timeless beauty.
Malcolm X + Education QuotesGiphy
Among the many character traits I absolutely adore about Malcolm X, one of my favorites was – he was always trying to learn something new; he was a student and teachable scholar for a lifetime.
"Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today."– Malcolm X
One of the most transformative moments in X's life was when he was incarcerated for ten years. He had such a rough childhood that robbed his youth and drew him into life on the streets. In jail, he was finally able to be reflective—to see how far he's come and question if this is all life had to offer him. He rejected the mindset of missing out in the world because he was behind bars. X was so ashamed of not reading or writing well, which is why he dedicated his time there to educate himself socially, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.
As Malcolm states, "Without education, you're not going anywhere in this world."
Self-education matters as much as traditional education is taught in schools, where so many things are taken out of history because it doesn't suit white supremacy. The system was set up for us not to know ourselves, so it's every Black individual's duty to seek knowledge about our roots, whether through a book, podcast, documentary, etc.
"Education is an important element in the struggle for human rights. It is the means to help our children and thereby increase self-respect." – Malcolm X
If you don't know your history, you can't combat the issues we're having today because you're unaware of the marginalized system's patterns that were built to hold us back.
Malcolm X + Justice QuotesHuman Rights Unity GIFGiphy
I don't know about y'all, but there was never a lick of text in my textbook talking about all of the work Malcolm X has contributed to society. And that information was held back to hold back our power of knowing our worth.
"America's greatest crime against the black man was not slavery or lynching, but that he was taught to wear a mask of self-hate and self-doubt."― Malcolm X
Many people dismiss Malcolm X's ideologies because of fear and self-doubt. He was the definition of articulate and unapologetic about his stance, which in itself was his most significant threat. Malcolm taught us that complacency wouldn't make the changes we want to see; you have to get uncomfortable to demand the respect and care you deserve.
"Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery." ― Malcolm X
Malcolm's legacy taught me self-worth is something you have to fight for; you have to define it for others and be vocal about your boundaries. Some people may be dismissive because of his radical behavior, but Malcolm and Martin Luther King Jr. had the same goal, but they just had different ways of getting things done.
"I don't even call it violence when it's in self-defense; I call it intelligence." ― Malcolm X
Your power lies in your voice; if you don't use it effectively, you are enabling anyone to have their way. So live your life unapologetically speaking your truth and claiming what's yours!
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Featured image via Unseen Histories on Unsplash