The Autobiography of Malcolm X

People don't realize how a man's whole life can be changed by one book.

There's an art to listening well. I listen closely to the sound of a man's voice when he's speaking. I can hear sincerity.

Children have a lesson that 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.

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

Anytime you find someone more successful than you are, especially when you're both engaged in the same business - you know that they're doing something that you aren't.

In order to get something you had to look as though you already had something.

People are always speculating - why am I as I am?

To understand that of any person, his whole life, from birth, must be reviewed.

All of our experiences fuse into our personality. Everything that ever happened to us is an ingredient.

I've never been one for inaction. Everything I've ever felt strongly about, I've done something about.

You will never catch me with a free fifteen minutes in which I'm not studying something I feel might be able to help the black man.

I had learned early one important thing, and that was to always teach in terms that the people could understand.

Once he is motivated no one can change more completely than the man who has been at the bottom.

I call myself the best example of that.

Anyone in a position to discipline others must be able to take disciplining himself.

In order to be a good organizer of anything which you expect to succeed - including yourself - you must almost mathematically analyze cold facts.

If you ever intend to do anything worthwhile, you have to start with a worthwhile plan.

Anything I do today, I regard as urgent. No man is given but so much time to accomplish whatever is his life's work.

I was going through the hardest thing, also the greatest thing, for any human being to do; to accept that which is already within you, and around you.

I certainly wasn't seeking any degree, the way a college confers a status symbol upon its students.

My homemade education gave me, with every additional book that I read, a little bit more sensitivity to the deafness, dumbness, and blindness that was afflicting the black race in America.

Not long ago, an English writer telephoned me, asking questions. One was, "What's your alma mater?"

I told him, "Books".