Martin Luther King Quotes — Today is Martin Luther King Jr. day. A day to remember, celebrate, and pay tribute to this influential activist, civil rights leader, and hero. During the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, King fought to end forms of systemic racism, and he advocated for non-violent ways to do so. His iconic 1963 I Have A Dream speech continues to inspire the world to end discrimination and uphold civil and economic rights. Sadly, with his assassination in 1968, the world lost this great man, but his message and legacy continues today and is stronger than ever.
It’s 2021, and our world still has a long way to go in terms of racial equality. Today, as we honour Martin Luther King Jr., let’s turn to his words for guidance and inspiration on how we can all do our part to end racial injustice. Here are 30+ powerful Martin Luther King quotes. Happy MLK day. xx, Amanda
Read more: 16 Quotes From Inspiring Black Men & Women
30+ Martin Luther King Quotes
#1 – “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
#2 – “We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor. It must be demanded by the oppressed.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
#3 – “True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
#4 – “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
#5 – “Be a bush if you can’t be a tree. If you can’t be a highway, just be a trail. If you can’t be a sun, be a star. For it isn’t by size that you win or fail. Be the best of whatever you are.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
#6 – “For when people get caught up with that which is right, and they are willing to sacrifice for it, there is no stopping point short of victory.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
#7 – “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
#8 – “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.
#9 – “Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
#10 – “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
#11 – “Life’s most persistent and urgent question, ‘What are you doing for others?'” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
#12 – “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.
#13 – “Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon. Indeed it is a weapon unique in history, which cuts without wounding and enables the man who wields it.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
#14 – “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.
#15 – “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.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
#16 – “The past is prophetic in that it asserts loudly that wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
#17 – “We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now because I’ve been to the mountaintop… 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.
#18 – “Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
#19 – “The time is always right to do what is right.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
#20 – “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.
#21 – “Shallow understanding from people of goodwill is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
#22 – “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.
#23 – “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.
#24 – “A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
#25 – “The quality, not the longevity, of one’s life, is what is important.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
#26 – “History will have to record the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamour of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
#27 – “We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
#28 – “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” -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 – “Violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral. I am not unmindful of the fact that violence often brings about momentary results. Nations have frequently won their independence in battle. But in spite of temporary victories, violence never brings permanent peace.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
#31 – “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.
#32 – “The hottest place in hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
#33 – “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
#34 – “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.
#35 – “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.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
#36 – “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.
#37 – “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.
#38 – “Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.