Martin Luther King, Jr. quotes

  • The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state. It must be the guide and the critic of the state, and never its tool. If the church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Spiritual #Church #Doe

  • Segregation, as even the segregationists know in their hearts, is morally wrong and sinful. If it weren't, the white South would not be haunted as it is by a deep sense of guilt for what it has done to the Negro - guilt for patronizing him, degrading him, brutalizing him, depersonalizing him, thingifying him; guilt for lying to itself. This is the source of the schizophrenia that the South will suffer until it goes through its crisis of conscience.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Lying #Heart #White

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

    #Inspirational #Life #Inspiring

  • What the Negro wants - and will not stop until he gets - is absolute and unqualified freedom and equality here in this land of his birth, and not in Africa or in some imaginary state. The Negro no longer will be tolerant of anything less than his due right and heritage. He is pursuing only that which he knows is honorably his. He knows that he is right.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Land #Heritage #Want

  • I question and soul-search constantly into myself to be as certain as I can that I am fulfilling the true meaning of my work, that I am maintaining my sense of purpose, that I am holding fast to my ideals, that I am guiding my people in the right direction.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #People #Soul #Maintaining

  • A strong man must be militant as well as moderate. He must be a realist as well as an idealist.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Strong #Men #Realist

  • Education must enable one to sift and weigh evidence, to discern the true from the false, the real from the unreal, and the facts from the fiction.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Education #Real #Fiction

  • Nonviolence is a powerful as well as a just weapon. If you confront a man who has long been cruelly misusing you, and say, "Punish me, if you will; I do not deserve it, but I will accept it, so that the world will know I am right and you are wrong," then you wield a powerful and a just weapon. This man, your oppressor, is automatically morally defeated, and if he has any conscience, he is ashamed.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Powerful #Men #Long

  • 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.

    #Inspirational #Inspiring #Moving On

  • I don't think you can be in public life without being called bad names.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Thinking #Names

  • 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.

    #Dream #Children #Integrity

  • When the Negro finds the courage to be free, he faces dogs and guns and clubs and fire hoses totally unafraid, and the white men with those dogs, guns, clubs and fire hoses see that the Negro they have traditionally called "boy" has become a man.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Dog #Gun #Boys

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

    #Motivational #Change #Positive

  • I must face the fact, as all others in positions of leadership must do, that America today is an extremely sick nation, and that something could well happen to me at any time. I feel, though, that my cause is so right, so moral, that if I should lose my life, in some way it would aid the cause.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #America #Sick #Today

  • 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.

    #Inspirational #Life #Motivational

  • If I were constantly worried about death, I couldn't function. After a while, if your life is more or less constantly in peril, you come to a point where you accept the possibility philosophically.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Life Is #Worried #Possibility

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

    #Love #Friendship #Change

  • The unemployed, poverty-stricken white man must be made to realize that he is in the very same boat with the Negro. Together, they could exert massive pressure on the government to get jobs for all. Together, they could form a grand alliance. Together, they could merge all people for the good of all.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Jobs #Men #White

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

    #Inspirational #Friendship #Positive

  • Time has been used destructively by people of ill will much more than it has been used constructively by those of good will.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #People #Used #Ill

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

    #Procrastination #Firsts #Steps

  • I think that we must face the fact that in reality, you cannot have economic and political equality without having some form of social equality. I think this is inevitable.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Reality #Thinking #Political

  • Unless you have found something in life to live for that is more important to you than your own life, you will always be a slave. For all another man needs to do is threaten to take your life to get you to do his bidding.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Men #Important #Needs

  • Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half-truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, so must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Dark #Men #Racism

  • 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.

    #Happiness #Self Esteem #Way

  • We must combine the toughness of the serpent with the softness of the dove, a tough mind and a tender heart.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Heart #Mind #Tough

  • White Americans must be made to understand the basic motives underlying Negro demonstrations. Many pent-up resentments and latent frustrations are boiling inside the Negro, and he must release them. It is not a threat but a fact of history that if an oppressed people's pent-up emotions are not nonviolently released, they will be violently released.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Frustration #White #People

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

    #Inspirational #Positive #Inspiring

  • I've always tried to be what I call militantly nonviolent. I don't believe that anyone could seriously accuse me of not being totally committed to the breakdown of segregation.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Believe #Segregation #Committed

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

    #Love #Inspirational #Inspiring

  • There is no truth to the myth that Negroes depreciate property. The fact is that most Negroes are kept out of residential neighborhoods so long that when one of us is finally sold a home, it's already depreciated.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Home #Long #Facts

  • 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.

    #Change #Uplifting #Spiritual

  • We must dispel the negative and harmful atmosphere that has been created by avaricious and unprincipled realtors who engage in "blockbusting." If we had in America really serious efforts to break down discrimination in housing, and at the same time a concerted program of government aid to improve housing for Negroes, I think that many white people would be surprised at how many Negroes would choose to live among themselves, exactly as Poles and Jews and other ethnic groups do.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Thinking #Government #White

  • It is our experience that the nation doesn't move around questions of genuine equality for the poor and for black people until it is confronted massively, dramatically in terms of direct action.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Moving #People #Black

  • I never cease to wonder at the amazing presumption of much of white society, assuming that they have the right to bargain with the Negro for his freedom.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #White #Assuming #Wonder

  • One day the absurdity of the almost universal human belief in the slavery of other animals will be palpable. We shall then have discovered our souls and become worthier of sharing this planet with them.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Animal #Soul #One Day

  • Let the Negro march. Let him make pilgrimages to city hall. Let him go on freedom rides. And above all, make an effort to understand why he must do this. For if his frustration and despair are allowed to continue piling up, millions of Negroes will seek solace and security in black-nationalist ideologies. And this, inevitably, would lead to a frightening racial nightmare.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Frustration #Cities #Effort

  • Men often hate each other because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don't know each other; they don't know each other because they can not communicate; they can not communicate because they are separated.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Fear #Hate #Men

  • We may have all come on different ships, but we're in the same boat now.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Inspirational #Inspiring #Meaningful

  • 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.

    #Wisdom #Pain #Divorce

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

    #Thought Provoking #Political #Germany

  • The Curse of poverty has no justification in our age...The time has come for us to civilize ourselves by the total, direct and immediate abolition of poverty.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Age #Poverty #Curse

  • 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.

    #Love #Faith #Peace

  • Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man's sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Beautiful #Cancer #Hate

  • We refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Believe #Justice #Refuse

  • I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture of their minds, and dignity, equality, and freedom for their spirits. I believe that what self-centered men have torn down, men other-centered can build up I still believe that one day mankind will bow before the altars of God and be crowned triumphant over war and bloodshed, and nonviolent redemptive goodwill will proclaim the rule of the land.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Peace #War #Believe

  • By its very nature, hate destroys and tears down; by its very nature, love creates and builds up.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Hate #Love And Hate #Tears

  • Love is the only creative, redemptive, transforming power, in the universe.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Love Is #Creative #Transforming

  • 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.

    #Inspirational #Life #God

  • 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.

    #Character #Power #Thought Provoking

  • Wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Love #Inspirational #Peace

  • One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Inspirational #Religious #Responsibility

  • I have decided to love. If you are seeking the highest good, I think you can find it through love. And the beautiful thing is that we are moving against wrong when we do it, because John was right, God is love. He who hates does not know God, but he who has love has the key that unlocks the door to the meaning of ultimate reality.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Beautiful #Hate #Moving

  • Freedom has always been an expensive thing. History is fit testimony to the fact that freedom is rarely gained without sacrifice and self-denial.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Sacrifice #Self #Denial

  • The difference between a dreamer and a visionary is that a dreamer has his eyes closed and a visionary has his eyes open
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Eye #Differences #Dreamer

  • Nothing pains some people more than having to think
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Pain #Emotional #Thinking

  • If you will protest courageously, and yet with dignity and Christian love, when the history books are written in future generations, the historians will have to pause and say, "There lived a great people-a black people-who injected new meaning and dignity into the veins of civilization.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Christian #Book #Civilization

  • Only in the darkness can you see the stars.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Inspirational #Hope #Stars

  • The saving of our world from pending doom will come, not through the complacent adjustment of the conforming majority, but through the creative maladjustment of a nonconforming minority.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Our World #Creative #Minorities

  • There comes a time when a moral man can't obey a law which his conscience tells him is unjust.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Men #Law #Liberty

  • Hatred darkens life; love illumines it.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Life #Love Life #Hatred

  • Sooner or later, all the peoples of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace, and thereby transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Creative #Brotherhood #Together

  • We have no alternative but to protest. For many years we have shown an amazing patience... But we come here tonight to be saved from that patience that makes us patient with anything less than freedom and justice.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Years #Justice #Alternatives

  • Life's most persistent and urgent question is: what are you doing for others? Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how. The moment you know how, you begin to die a little.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Knowing #Littles #Next

  • Normal fear protects us; abnormal fear paralyses us. Normal fear motivates us to improve our individual and collective welfare; abnormal fear constantly poisons and distorts our inner lives. Our problem is not to be rid of fear but, rather to harness and master it.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Poison #Abnormal #Problem

  • Our goal is to create a beloved community," said Dr. King, "and this will require a qualitative change in our souls as well as a quantitative change in our lives.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Kings #Goal #Community

  • Carve a tunnel of hope through the dark mountain of disappointment.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Disappointment #Dark #Tunnels

  • The human heart is like a ship on a stormy sea driven about by winds blowing from all four corners of heaven.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Love #Heart #Emotional

  • A second basic fact that characterizes nonviolence is that it does not seek to defeat or humiliate the opponent, but to win his friendship and understanding.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Winning #Understanding #Opponents

  • Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Wisdom #Peace #Freedom

  • The most dangerous criminal may be the man gifted with reason, but with no morals.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Men #Criminals #May

  • Even when the polls are open to all, Negroes have shown themselves too slow to exercise their voting privileges. There must be a concerted effort on the part of Negro leaders to arouse their people from their apathetic indifference.... In the past, apathy was a moral failure. Today, it is a form of moral and political suicide.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Suicide #Exercise #Past

  • 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.

    #Life #Motivational #Positive

  • Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon. which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Peace #Powerful #Cutting

  • Every genuine expression of love grows out of a consistent and total surrender to God.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Love #Expression #Surrender

  • Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Change #Inspiring #Creativity

  • 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.

    #Inspirational #Relationship #Inspiring

  • Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Inspirational #Motivational #Inspiring

  • 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.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Change #Work #Struggle

  • Even in the inevitable moments when all seems hopeless, men know that without hope they cannot really live, and in agonizing desperation they cry for the bread of hope.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Men #Agonizing #Bread

  • In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Friendship #Wisdom #Clever

  • 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.

    #Inspiring #Leadership #Peace

  • 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.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Acceptance #Evil #Historical

  • I would be the last to condemn the thousands of sincere and dedicated people outside the churches who have labored unselfishly through various humanitarian movements to cure the world of social evils, for I would rather a man be a committed humanist than an uncommitted Christian.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Christian #Men #Evil

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

    #People #Understanding #Frustrated

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

    #Inspirational #Motivational #Positive

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

    #Uplifting #Work #Teaching

  • And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the negro poor has worsened over the last twelve or fifteen years. It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice and humanity.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Years #White #America

  • 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.

    #Love #Revenge #Men

  • I just want to do God’s will.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Want

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

    #Motivational #Spiritual #Men

  • Ordinarily, a person leaving a courtroom with a conviction behind him would wear a somber face. But I left with a smile. I knew that I was a convicted criminal, but I was proud of my crime.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Leaving #Proud #Faces

  • Man was born into barbarism when killing his fellow man was a normal condition of existence. He became endowed with a conscience. And he has now reached the day when violence toward another human being must become as abhorrent as eating another's flesh.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Men #Fellow Man #Flesh

  • We have no honorable intentions in Vietnam. Our minimal expectation is to occupy it as an American colony and maintain social stability for our investments. This tells why American helicopters are being used against guerrillas in Colombia and Peru. Increasingly the role our nation has taken is the role of those who refuse to give up the privileges and pleasures that come from the immense profits of overseas investment.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Giving Up #Taken #America

  • 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.

    #Change #People #Silence

  • Even if our motives are presently misunderstood. We will reach the goal of freedom in Birmingham and all over the nation, because the goal of America is freedom.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Inspirational #America #Goal

  • A religion true to its nature must also be concerned about man's social conditions....A ny religion that professes to be concerned with the souls of men and is not concerned with the slums that damn them, the economic conditions that strangle them, and the social conditions that cripple them is a dry-as-dust religion.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Men #Dust #Soul

  • There is nothing in all the world greater than freedom. It is worth paying for; it is worth going to jail for. I would rather be a free pauper than a rich slave. I would rather die in abject poverty with my convictions than live in inordinate riches with the lack of self respect.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Self #Jail #World

  • If the church of today does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authentic ring, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Inspirational #Loyalty #Church

  • It is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard.
    -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    #Would Be #Alternatives #Attention

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