20 Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes that Celebrate Equality


Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!

Today is an occasion to celebrate unity among all races and hope for a future when we will one day truly and definitively disentangle ourselves from inequality in all things. MLK Jr. was the chief spokesman for nonviolent activism in the civil rights movement, protesting racial discrimination apparent in federal and state law.

You’ve probably already come across most of the following 20 quotes of Martin Luther King Jr., which is testament to his strong influence, even to this day. No matter your race, age or gender, MLK Jr.’s legacy is relevant to all of us.

Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes

  1. Life’s most persistent and urgent question I ask, ‘What are you doing for others?’
  2. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
  3. Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.
  4. We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He is decoid 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.
  5. Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. The time is always right to do what is right.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope. I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.
  13. In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.
  14. We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.
  15. Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
  16. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
  17. Our lives begin to end the days we become silent about things that matter.
  18. We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.
  19. A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.
  20. Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.

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Photo Credit: U.S. Embassy New Delhi