Martin Luther King Jr. was an American Baptist Minister, Civil Rights Activist, and also Nobel Peace Prize Winner.
He formed as the most visible spokesman and leader in the American civil rights movement. Martin Luther King Jr. got two prestigious awards, the "Nobel Peace Prize" In the Year 1964 and "Presidential Medal of Freedom" award In 1977.
We've put together an incredible collection of Martin Luther King Jr. quotes to read.
Here they are:
List of Inspiring Martin Luther King Quotes
Not everybody can be famous but everybody can be great because greatness is determined by service. You only need a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made straight and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
One day we must come to see that peace is not merely a distant goal we seek, but that it is a means by which we arrive at that goal. We must pursue peaceful ends through peaceful means.
A man who won’t die for something is not fit to live.
Mankind must put and end to war or war will put an end to mankind.
The past is prophetic in that it asserts loudly that wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows.
There comes a time when people get tired of being pushed out of the glittering sunlight of life’s July and left standing amid the piercing chill of an alpine November.
The moral arc of the universe bends at the elbow of justice.
Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a constant attitude.
We must come to see that the end we seek is a society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience.
I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality, and freedom for their spirits.
I still have a dream today that one day war will come to an end, that men will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks, that nations will no longer rise up against nations, neither will they study war any more.
What is wrong in the world today is that the nations of the world are engaged in a bitter, colossal contest for supremacy.
The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood.
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 the positive affirmation of peace.
We are prone to judge success by the index of our salaries or the size of our automobiles rather than by the quality of our service and relationship to mankind.
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.
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
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.
True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.
If any earthly institution or custom conflicts with God’s will, it is your Christian duty to oppose it. You must never allow the transitory, evanescent demands of man-made institutions to take precedence over the eternal demands of the Almighty God.
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.
We will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.
That old law about ‘an eye for an eye’ leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing.
We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.
A lie cannot live.
I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law.
Let no man pull you so low as to hate him.
No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.
Law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress.
If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.
Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.
You will change your mind; You will change your looks; You will change your smile, laugh, and ways but no matter what you change, you will always be you.
It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that’s pretty important.
There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love.
Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him.
Every man lives in two realms: the internal and the external. The internal is that realm of spiritual ends expressed in art, literature, morals, and religion. The external is that complex of devices, techniques, mechanisms, and instrumentalities by means of which we live.
He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love.
Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness.
There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe nor politic nor popular, but he must take it because his conscience tells him it is right.
The evidence of Martin Luther King Jnr’s “I have a dream” declaration was a passionate confirmation of how a dream meant for liberation, success and fulfilled life can become true.
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.
We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.
There is nothing more tragic than to find an individual bogged down in the length of life, devoid of breadth.
Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.
If physical death is the price that I must pay to free my white brothers and sisters from a permanent death of the spirit, then nothing can be more redemptive.
The art of acceptance is the art of making someone who has just done you a small favor wish that he might have done you a greater one.
If the cruelties of slavery could not stop us, the opposition we now face will surely fail. Because the goal of America is freedom, abused and scorned tho’ we may be, our destiny is tied up with America’s destiny.
The soft-minded man always fears change. He feels security in the status quo, and he has an almost morbid fear of the new. For him, the greatest pain is the pain of a new idea.
We can’t answer King’s assassination with violence. That would be the worst tribute we could pay him.
A riot is the language of the unheard.
We believe in law and order. We are not advocating violence. We want to love our enemies. If I am stopped, our work will not stop, for what we are doing is right.
Whatever your life’s work is, do it well. A man should do his job so well that the living, the dead, and the unborn could do it no better.
The more there are riots, the more repressive action will take place, and the more we face the danger of a right-wing takeover and eventually a fascist society.
At the center of non-violence stands the principle of love.
Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.
Nonviolence is absolute commitment to the way of love. Love is not emotional bash; it is not empty sentimentalism. It is the active outpouring of one’s whole being into the being of another.
Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
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.
People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.
Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.
We who in engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive.
Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon. Indeed, it is a weapon unique in history, which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it.
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.
Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.
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.
I have a dream that one day little black boys and girls will be holding hands with little white boys and girls.
A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.
Hate begets hate; violence begets violence; toughness begets a greater toughness. We must meet the forces of hate with the power of love.
We must combine the toughness of the serpent and the softness of the dove, a tough mind and a tender heart.
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.
Seeing is not always believing.
Property is intended to serve life, and no matter how much we surround it with rights and respect, it has no personal being. It is part of the earth man walks on. It is not man.
A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on the installment plan.
We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.
I want to be the white man’s brother, not his brother-in-law.
Ten thousand fools proclaim themselves into obscurity, while one wise man forgets himself into immortality.
History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.
We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right.
When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative.
We are not makers of history. We are made by history.
I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.
The time is always right to do what is right.
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.
We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear.
Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.
He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.
Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.
Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.
The God whom we worship is not a weak and incompetent God. He is able to beat back gigantic waves of opposition and to bring low prodigious mountains of evil. The ringing testimony of the Christian faith is that God is able.
In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans, as ‘right-to-work.’ It provides no ‘rights’ and no ‘works.’ Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining… We demand this fraud be stopped.
All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.
The principle of self defense, even involving weapons and bloodshed, has never been condemned.
Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.
Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.
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.
The limitation of riots, moral questions aside, is that they cannot win and their participants know it. Hence, rioting is not revolutionary but reactionary because it invites defeat. It involves an emotional catharsis, but it must be followed by a sense of futility.
We cannot walk alone.
Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better.
Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see.
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