Martin Luther King Jr. Day is today. It’s a day for Americans to celebrate his birthday. It’s also a day for us to remember and honor a true American hero, and celebrate his life and legacy. Martin Luther King Jr. was known for his powerful words, both in speeches and in letters and books that he wrote throughout his life. Today, we remember 10 of Martin Luther King Jr.’s most meaningful quotes.
“True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.”
From Stride Towards Freedom, 1958.
“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.“
From Strength to Love, 1963.
“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.“
From his “Letter from Birmingham Jail”, 1963.
“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.”
From his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, Oslo, Norway, 1964.
“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”
From In My Own Words, a collection of sermons and writings gathered by King’s widow, Coretta Scott King.
“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”
From his speech at Western Michigan University, 1963.
“Love is the greatest force in the universe. It is the heartbeat of the moral cosmos. He who loves is a participant in the being of God.”
Written in a rare, handwritten note from sometime in the mid-1960s.
“Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.”
From “The Purpose of Education” written in the Morehouse student paper in 1947.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”
From Strength to Love, 1963. This is one of Martin Luther King Jr.’s most famous quotes and for good reason.
“We must walk on in the days ahead with an audacious faith in the future.”
From his speech at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, 1967.