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As we celebrate the birthday of Malcolm X, who was born Malcolm Little on May 19, 1925, we highlight five of his quotes that give a glimpse into the brilliance that he presented throughout his too short life before his assassination in 1965.

The celebrated Muslim leader and Black activist would have been 96 years old today and his words still hold true as the people who he represented are still fighting for equality and freedom from oppression.

 

1. “I am for violence if non-violence means we continue postponing a solution to the American black man’s problem just to avoid violence.” – Malcolm X

Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X waiting for a press conference Source:Photo by Universal History Archive/Getty Images

Source: The Autobiography of Malcolm X

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3. “History is a people’s memory, and without a memory, man is demoted to the lower animals.” – Malcolm X

Malcolm X In London Source:Express Newspapers/Getty Images

Source: MALCOLM X’S SPEECH AT THE FOUNDING RALLY OF THE ORGANIZATION OF AFRO-AMERICAN UNITY 1964 

4. “You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.” – Malcolm X

Malcolm X & Muhammad Ali Source:Bob Gomel/Sygma/Sygma via Getty Images

Source: Malcolm X Speeches: February 1965

5. I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I’m a human being first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” – Malcolm X

Malcolm X Source:Three Lions/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Source: The Autobiography of Malcolm X

6. “I have more respect for a man who lets me know where he stands, even if he’s wrong, than the one who comes up like an angel and is nothing but a devil.” – Malcolm X

Malcolm X Deconstructing 'Negro' Source:Richard Saunders/Pictorial Parade/Archive Photos/Getty Images

Source: The Night Malcolm X Spoke at the Oxford Union: A Transatlantic Story of Antiracist Protest” by Stephen Tuck & Henry Louis Gates

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