Martin Luther King Quotes to Remember

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Martin Luther King Jr., would be 84 years old this week. In honor of the holiday, here's a selection of some of his most famous quotes.

Great words spoken by a great man…

  1. "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."
  2. "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."
  3. "A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on the installment plan."
  4. I say to you that our goal is freedom, and I believe we are going to get there because however much she strays away from it, the goal of America is freedom.
  5. Cowardice asks the question, "Is it safe?" Expediency asks the question, "Is it politic?" And Vanity comes along and 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 he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right.
  6. "Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better."
  7. "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
  8. "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."
  9. "Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness."
  10. "Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase."
  11. "Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed."
  12. "Have we not come to such an impasse in the modern world that we must love our enemies – or else? The chain reaction of evil – hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars – must be broken, or else we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation."
  13. "I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear."
  14. "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
  15. "Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'"
  16. "Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal."
  17. "The time is always right to do what is right."

Rest in peace, Dr. King.

Join the conversation. Click here to jump to comments…

  1. Ron | January 21, 2013

    Thanks, Steve, there is no better tribute to Martin Luther King, for him or for us, than to quote him.

  2. Skip | January 21, 2013

    Steve, thanks much, I read these quotes and remember my mom and dad sitting me down as a young child on numerous occasions to listen to the speeches of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. They were so inspired by his words they worked together with our culturally diverse neighbors collectively to build character in the minds of all their children.

    I can remember my mother explaining to me what King meant, why it was important and how it would shape the world. As I read this compilation of quotations. I could actually remember the tonal implications and fervor of King when he spoke many of these quotes.

  3. Marianna | July 10, 2013

    What sads me the most is that still today most of his sayings are valid for a lot of people

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