40 Famous Martin Luther King, Jr. Quotes

The following is a list of some famous Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. quotes. MLK, as he’s sometimes referred to, was a civil rights activist who received the Nobel Peace Prize. Many people know him for his famous, “I Have A Dream” speech which he gave during the March on Washington in 1963 where he uttered the words, “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.” He was an important figure for the advancement of human equality. Although he was unfortunately assassinated in 1968, the impact of his life on this country will live on.

“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.”

“Seeing is not always believing.”

“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.”

“When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative.”

“A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus. ”

“A lie cannot live.”

“A man can’t ride your back unless it’s bent.”

“A man who won’t die for something is not fit to live.”

“A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on the installment plan.”

“Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better.”

“A right delayed is a right denied. ”

“A riot is at bottom the language of the unheard.”

“A riot is the language of the unheard. ”

“All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”

“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.”

“Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see.”

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

“Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. ”

“Life’s most urgent question is: what are you doing for others?”

“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.”

“Means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek.”

“Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.”

“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent.”

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

“Discrimination is a hellhound that gnaws at Negroes in every waking moment of their lives to remind them that the lie of their inferiority is accepted as truth in the society dominating them.”

“War is a poor chisel to carve out tomorrow.”

“Wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows.”

“We are not makers of history. We are made by history.”

“We have guided missiles and misguided men.”

“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. ”

“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.”

“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals. ”

“There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love.”

“There is nothing more tragic than to find an individual bogged down in the length of life, devoid of breadth. ”

“We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people. ”

“We will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”

“We must use time creatively.”

“We who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive.”

“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.”

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