The Autobiography of Malcolm X

Hustlers, in Malcolm’s day, are young men looking to make money through independent ventures which are usually illegal, ranging from selling drugs and alcohol to armed burglary. They typically sported conks and zoot suits.

Hustlers Quotes in The Autobiography of Malcolm X

The The Autobiography of Malcolm X quotes below are all either spoken by Hustlers or refer to Hustlers. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Race and Racism in America Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Ballantine Books edition of The Autobiography of Malcolm X published in 1992.
Chapter 3 Quotes

"The main thing you got to remember is that everything in the world is a hustle. So long, Red.”

Related Characters: Freddie (speaker), Malcolm X
Page Number: 51
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 6 Quotes

In one sense, we were huddled in there, bonded together in seeking security and warmth and comfort from each other, and we didn't know it. All of us—who might have probed space, or cured cancer, or built industries—were, instead, black victims of the white man's American social system. In another sense, the tragedy of the once master pickpocket made him, for those brother old-timer hustlers, a "there but for the grace of God" symbol. To wolves who still were able to catch some rabbits, it had meaning that an old wolf who had lost his fangs was still eating.

Related Characters: Malcolm X (speaker), Fewclothes
Page Number: 93
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 7 Quotes

There I was back in Harlem's streets among all the rest of the hustlers. I couldn't sell reefers; the dope squad detectives were too familiar with me. I was a true hustler—uneducated, unskilled at anything honorable, and I considered myself nervy and cunning enough to live by my wits, exploiting any prey that presented itself. I would risk just about anything.

Related Characters: Malcolm X (speaker)
Page Number: 111
Explanation and Analysis:

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Hustlers Term Timeline in The Autobiography of Malcolm X

The timeline below shows where the term Hustlers appears in The Autobiography of Malcolm X. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 5: Harlemite
Race and Racism in America Theme Icon
Education Theme Icon
Class Theme Icon
...the pimps are out on the streets working every single man they see, while the hustlers try to sell their merchandise. Malcolm says that in a few years, he could give... (full context)
Race and Racism in America Theme Icon
...favorite bourbon as soon as he walks in. He’s known as “Red” to the old hustlers there, and he makes friends with many famous musicians. (full context)
Race and Racism in America Theme Icon
Class Theme Icon
...clubs and impromptu speakeasies cater specifically to whites. The whole area is flooded with entertainers, hustlers, and pimps as everyone competes for white people’s money. The lindy hop, named for Charles... (full context)
Chapter 6: Detroit Red
Education Theme Icon
Class Theme Icon
At Small’s, many of the old hustlers take a liking to Malcolm and do their best to teach him their ways and... (full context)
Race and Racism in America Theme Icon
Religion Theme Icon
Education Theme Icon
Family and Dysfunction Theme Icon
...on the significance of that kindness, and how it spoke to the brotherhood among the hustler community. (full context)
Chapter 7: Hustler
Race and Racism in America Theme Icon
Education Theme Icon
Class Theme Icon
...reefers. With no other skills, he has to find a new hustle. He likens the hustler’s life to that of an animal who must constantly move and prey on others to... (full context)
Race and Racism in America Theme Icon
Family and Dysfunction Theme Icon
Class Theme Icon
...poor economic situation (in 1943) has hurt all parts of the Harlem underground, and the hustlers and prostitutes are all getting day jobs. Malcolm and Sammy start to pull more dangerous... (full context)
Race and Racism in America Theme Icon
Class Theme Icon
Malcolm enters the numbers business on his reputation as a good hustler. His new boss and his wife have been granted control of a section of the... (full context)
Chapter 13: Minister Malcolm X
Race and Racism in America Theme Icon
Class Theme Icon
Malcolm talks with a lot of the old hustlers, looking for West Indian Archie, but nobody has heard from him. Many of the hustlers... (full context)
Chapter 16: Out
Race and Racism in America Theme Icon
Religion Theme Icon
...And finally, he understands that the “most dangerous black man in America was the ghetto hustler.” (full context)
Race and Racism in America Theme Icon
Education Theme Icon
Class Theme Icon
Hustlers have no professional skills and no money to fall back on. They must make their... (full context)