60 Most Encouraging Martin Luther King Jr Quotes

Martin Luther King Jr Quotes

Martin Luther King, Jr., real name Michael King, Jr born 15th January 1929, Atlanta, Georgia U.S. was an American activist and Baptist minister who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the civil rights movement from 1954 until his assassination in 1968. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech,is one of the most famous speeches in American history. He was awarded five U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom awards including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award given by an American president. King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for combating racial inequality through nonviolent resistance.

In 1957, King led the first major nonviolent African American bus protest in Montgomery, Alabama, and after being arrested for this he wrote his famous letter from prison that later became a key component to his future success as a leader of the Civil Rights Movement. He later took part in major nonviolent acts, such as boycotts which led to an end of segregation on buses and other forms of discrimination in employment.

King was assassinated on 4th April 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee by James Earl Ray after leading the successful Birmingham campaign with its protest marches and sit-ins. King’s death was followed by riots in many U.S. cities.

In 1999, King was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal and in the year 2000 received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Martin Luther King Jr is one of the most beloved and respected human rights activists that has given his life to change things for Black Americans and others around the world. Below are his most inspiring quotes.

Martin Luther King Jr Quotes

1. -“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”– Martin Luther King Jr.

2. “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

3. “We must discover the power of love, the redemptive power of love. And when we discover that, we will be able to make of this old world a new world.”–Martin Luther King Jr.

4.”The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”– Martin Luther King Jr.

5. “If we are to go forward, we must go back and rediscover those precious values – that all reality hinges on moral foundations and that all reality has spiritual control.”– Martin Luther King Jr.

6. “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” –Martin Luther King Jr.

7. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”– Martin Luther King Jr.

8. “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”– Martin Luther King Jr.

9. “The old law of an eye for an eye leaves everybody blind.” –Martin Luther King Jr.

10. “Hate is too great a burden to bear.” –Martin Luther King, Jr.

11. “No lie can live forever.” –Martin Luther King Jr.

12. “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” — Martin Luther King Jr.

13. “There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it’s right.”– Martin Luther King Jr.

14. “We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”– Martin Luther King Jr.

15. “Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a permanent attitude.” –Martin Luther King Jr.

16. “It is not enough to say ‘We must not wage war.’ It is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it. We must concentrate not merely on the negative expulsion of war, but on the positive affirmation of peace.” — Martin Luther King Jr.

17. “Truth, crushed to earth, will rise again.” –Martin Luther King Jr.

18. “The time is always right to do what is right.”– Martin Luther King Jr.

19. “Three ways to be influential:  through your example, through your deeds, and through your words.” — Martin Luther King Jr.

20. “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” –Martin Luther King, Jr.

21. “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.”– Martin Luther King Jr.

22. “The time is always right to do what is right.”– Martin Luther King Jr.

23.”The basic tension that exists in man’s soul … can be epitomized in the statements: ‘You are mine, I am yours.’ This expresses our deepest sense of belonging. The more we are aware of this feeling, the more conscious and significant will become our lives.”– Martin Luther King Jr.

24. “In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” –Martin Luther King Jr.

25. “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?'”– Martin Luther King Jr.

26. “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”– Martin Luther King Jr.

27. “Nighttime tests the robustness of all our dreams.”– Martin Luther King Jr.

28. “A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on an installment plan.”– Martin Luther King Jr.

29. “A man can’t ride your back unless it’s bent.” –Martin Luther King Jr.

30. “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.”– Martin Luther King Jr.

31. “Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.”– Martin Luther King Jr.

32. “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” –Martin Luther King Jr.

33. “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”– Martin Luther King Jr

34. “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.”– Martin Luther King Jr

35. “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”– Martin Luther King Jr

36. “I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.”– Martin Luther King Jr

37. “Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.”– Martin Luther King Jr

38. “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”– Martin Luther King Jr

39. “I am not interested in power for power’s sake, but I’m interested in power that is moral, that is right and that is good.”– Martin Luther King Jr

40. “You can kill the dreamer, but you can’t kill the dream.”– Martin Luther King Jr

41. “Keep feeling the need for being first. But I want you to be the first in love. I want you to be the first in moral excellence. I want you to be the first in generosity.”– Martin Luther King Jr

42. “We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now.”– Martin Luther King Jr

43. “Those who are not looking for happiness are the most likely to find it, because those who are searching forget that the surest way to be happy is to seek happiness for others.”– Martin Luther King Jr

44. “Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge, which is power; religion gives man wisdom, which is control. Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals.”– Martin Luther King Jr

45. “It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can stop him from lynching me, and I think that’s pretty important.”– Martin Luther King Jr

46. “We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back.”– Martin Luther King Jr

47. “A social movement that only moves people is merely a revolt. A movement that changes both people and institutions is a revolution.”– Martin Luther King Jr

48. “Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.”– Martin Luther King Jr

49. “Cowardice asks the question, is it safe? Expediency asks the question, is it politic? Vanity asks the question, is it popular? But conscience asks the question, is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because it is right.”– Martin Luther King Jr

50. “Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.”– Martin Luther King Jr

51. “Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.”– Martin Luther King Jr

52. “Wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows.”– Martin Luther King Jr

53. “The question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be… The nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists.”– Martin Luther King Jr

54. “Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.”– Martin Luther King Jr

55. “He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love.”–Martin Luther King Jr

56. “Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness.”– Martin Luther King Jr

57. “Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a constant attitude.”– Martin Luther King Jr

58. “If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.”– Martin Luther King Jr

59. “I want to be the white man’s brother, not his brother-in-law.”– Martin Luther King Jr

60. “The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood.”– Martin Luther King Jr.

Video: Martin Luther King, Jr. – “What Is Your Life’s Blueprint?”

Rarely seen footage of Martin Luther King, Jr., speaking to students at Barratt Junior High School in Philadelphia on October 26, 1967, where he delivered his speech “What Is Your Life’s Blueprint?”

Summary

Martin Luther King Jr was a prominent activist who began the civil rights movement. His most famous speech, “I have a dream”, was meant to inspire hope for equality of all races. He has many inspiring quotes that are used today in many inspirational settings, however, his legacy spreads beyond just his words.

He worked with Gandhi’s ideas of nonviolence and passive resistance to bring about change. He believed that everyone can make a difference, not just leaders. He was one of the most important people in history to fight for civil rights and his quotes continue to inspire many people today.

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