75 Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes (The power of Love, Perseverance and Hope)

Looking for some inspiration? Check out these Martin Luther King Jr. quotes. They’ll give you a boost of confidence and remind you of what’s important. May we all be inspired by his example to work for justice and equality for all.

martin luther king jr quotes

PAGE CONTENT:

  • Martin Luther King Jr. Short Biography
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes on Peace, Justice and Love
  • Martin Luther King Jr. “I have a dream” Quotes
  • Inspiring MLK QUOTES

On January 15, 1929, Martin Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta, Georgia. He would grow up to become one of the most influential and iconic figures of the 20th century, known for his tireless work towards civil rights and equality for all. 

Despite being met with violence and hatred, King never wavered in his commitment to peaceful protest and change. His powerful speeches and calls for justice continue to inspire people all over the world, and his legacy is a testament to the power of courage and change.

King Jr. was raised in a religious family and was encouraged to pursue social justice. In 1951, he earned a degree from Crozer Theological Seminary. While in seminary, King Jr. became involved in the civil rights movement.

 He began to preach about equality and justice, and he became a leader of the movement. In 1955, King Jr. was arrested for protesting segregation in Alabama. The following year, he led the Montgomery Bus Boycott. King Jr. continued to fight for civil rights, and in 1963, he delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

On the evening of April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was fatally shot while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. He was pronounced dead at St. Joseph’s Hospital the following morning. King’s death was announced to the nation by then-president Lyndon B. Johnson.

The assassin, James Earl Ray, was arrested at London’s Heathrow Airport two months later. Ray confessed to the crime and was sentenced to 99 years in prison. He died in 1998.

King’s death was a watershed moment in American history. It led to riots in dozens of cities across the country and hastened the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1968.

Here are some of my favorite MLK quotes, which continue to inspire and motivate me.

75 Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes

  1. “I have decided to stick to love…Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

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

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

4. “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

5. “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our Friends.”

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

7. “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.”

8. “Let no man pull you so low as to hate him.”

9. “We must come to see that the end we seek is a society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience.”

10. “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

11. “Not only will we have to repent for the sins of bad people; but we also will have to repent for the appalling silence of good people.”

12. “The day we see the truth and cease to speak is the day we begin to die”

13. “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.”

14. “No one really knows why they are alive until they know what they’d die for.”

17. “Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.”

18. “There comes a time when silence is betrayal.”

mlk quotes

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

20. “But I know, somehow, that only when it is dark enough can you see the stars.”

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

22. “the time is always right to do the right thing”

21. “There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.”

22. “There is no gain without struggle.”

23. “A right delayed is a right denied.”

24. “Intelligence plus character-that is the goal of true education.”

25. “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.”

26. “Those who love peace must learn to organize as effectively as those who love war.”

27. “True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice.”

28. “No person has the right to rain on your dreams.”

29. “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?”

Martin Luther King Jr. “I have a dream” Quotes

30. “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.”

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 down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

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.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification” — one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; “and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

mlk jr quotes

More MLK QUOTES

31. “Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.”

32. “Not everybody can be famous but everybody can be great, because greatness is determined by service.”

33. “Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

34. “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.”

35. “One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”

36. “We have flown the air like birds and swum the sea like fishes, but have yet to learn the simple act of walking the earth like brothers.”

37. “It does not matter how long you live, but how well you do it.”

38. “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy to a friend.”

39. “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.”

40. “As my sufferings mounted I soon realized that there were two ways in which I could respond to my situation — either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course.”

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

42. “No work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”

43. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

44. “If we do an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, we will be a blind and toothless nation.”

45. “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”

46. “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.”

47. “I have a dream that one day little black boys and girls will be holding hands with little white boys and girls.”

48. “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.”

49. “Be The Peace You Wish To See In The World!”

50. “Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars… Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

Last 25 motivational Martin Luther King Jr. quotes

51. “One day we will learn that the heart can never be totally right when the head is totally wrong”

52. “We must learn that passively to accept an unjust system is to cooperate with that system, and thereby to become a participant in its evil.”

53. “Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.”

54. “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.”

55. “We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”

56. “People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.”

57. “The choice is not between violence and nonviolence but between nonviolence and nonexistence.”

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

59. “If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way”

 Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes

60. “Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.”

61. “Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.”

62. “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.”

63. “If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all. And so today I still have a dream.”

64. “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.”

65. “Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

66. “It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can stop him from lynching me, and I think that’s pretty important.”

67. “The question is not if we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. The nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists.”

68. “Occasionally in life there are those moments of unutterable fulfillment which cannot be completely explained by those symbols called words. Their meanings can only be articulated by the inaudible language of the heart.”

69. “Whenever men and women straighten their backs up, they are going somewhere, because a man can’t ride your back unless it is bent”

70. “There is nothing more majestic than the determined courage of individuals willing to suffer and sacrifice for their freedom and dignity.”

71. “The major problem of life is learning how to handle the costly interruptions. The door that slams shut, the plan that got sidetracked, the marriage that failed. Or that lovely poem that didn’t get written because someone knocked on the door.”

72. “And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.”

73. “Like anybody, I would like to have a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will.”

74. “The end of life is not to be happy, nor to achieve pleasure and avoid pain, but to do the will of God, come what may.”

75. “There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because his conscience tells him it is right….”

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