Martin Luther King, Jr. Quotes

- Notable Martin Luther King, Jr. Quotes Index -

Born: January 15, 1929, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Birth Country: USA
Died: Memphis, Tennessee, USA, April 4, 1968
Occupation: Civil rights leader

1.
A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

2.
A man who won't die for something is not fit to live.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

3.
A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on the installment plan.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

4.
A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

5.
All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

6.
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 the law.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

7.
At the center of non-violence stands the principle of love.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

8.
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.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

9.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate only love can do that.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

10.
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.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

11.
Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

12.
Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor it must be demanded by the oppressed.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

13.
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.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

14.
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.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

15.
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.

16.
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.

17.
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.

18.
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit together at the table of brotherhood.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

19.
I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

20.
I just want to do God's will. And he's allowed me to go to the mountain. And I've looked over, and I've seen the promised land! I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

21.
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.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

22.
I submit that an individual who breaks the law that conscience tells him is unjust and willingly accepts the penalty by staying in jail to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the very highest respect for law.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

23.
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.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

24.
It is incontestable and deplorable that Negroes have committed crimes but they are derivative crimes. They are born of the greater crimes of the white society.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

25.
It is not enough to say we must not wage war. It is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

26.
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.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

27.
Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

28.
Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

29.
Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

30.
Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

31.
One of the greatest casualties of the war in Vietnam is the Great Society... shot down on the battlefield of Vietnam.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

32.
One who breaks an unjust 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.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

33.
Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

34.
Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

35.
Pity may represent little more than the impersonal concern which prompts the mailing of a check, but true sympathy is the personal concern which demands the giving of one's soul.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

36.
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.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

37.
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.

38.
Science investigates religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge which is power religion gives man wisdom which is control.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

39.
Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

40.
Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

41.
That old law about 'an eye for an eye' leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

42.
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.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

43.
The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: 'If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?' But... the good Samaritan reversed the question: 'If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?'
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

44.
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.

45.
The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

46.
The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

47.
The means by which we live have outdistanced the ends for which we live. Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

48.
The quality, not the longevity, of one's life is what is important.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

49.
The sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

50.
The time is always right to do what is right.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

51.
The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

52.
There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

53.
There is nothing more tragic than to find an individual bogged down in the length of life, devoid of breadth.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

54.
War is a poor chisel to carve out tomorrow.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

55.
We are not makers of history. We are made by history.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

56.
We have guided missiles and misguided men.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

57.
We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

58.
We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

59.
We must concentrate not merely on the negative expulsion of war but the postive affirmation of peace.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

60.
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.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

61.
We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

62.
We must use time creatively.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

63.
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.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

64.
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.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Quotes by Martin Luther King, Jr.

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