9. On adversity
Malcolm X, born Malcolm Little, and then later known as el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz, was a human rights activist at the height of the civil rights era. As a child, white supremacists killed his Baptist minister father and his mother was admitted into a mental hospital. Malcolm X turned to drugs and crime and spent years in prison. There, he was introduced to the teachings of Minister Elijah Muhammad and later joined the Nation of Islam.
After his time in prison, he moved to Detroit, Michigan, to help Muhammad grow the Nation of Islam among Black Americans. From 1952 to 1960, the Nation of Islam grew from 400 to 40,000 members. Malcolm X encouraged others to overcome racism “by any means necessary.”
In 1964, Malcolm X left the Nation of Islam and made his hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. Malcolm X continued to speak out against injustice until his death on Feb. 21, 1965. And today, Malcolm X serves as a defiant symbol for Black liberation. Here are some of Malcolm X’s most powerful and timeless quotes:
“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.”