85+ Most Powerful And Inspiring Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes

By HighClap

His words helped shape the progressive society we live in today.

Most Powerful And Inspiring Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was an activist, a famous leader in the civil rights movement from 1955 until his assassination in 1968.

In 1964, he was given the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolent movement.

We at HighClap, rounded up this list of the most inspiring and powerful Martin Luther King Jr. quotes which helped shape the progressive society we live in today.

Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes On Love

  1. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
    Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
  2. “I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made straight and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.”
  3. “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
  4. “He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love.”
  5. “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.”
    Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.
  6. “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”
  7. “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.”
  8. “There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love.”
    There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love.
  9. “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.”
  10. “Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.”
  11. “Not everybody can be famous but everybody can be great because greatness is determined by service… You only need a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love.”
  12. “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.”
  13. “It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that's pretty important.”
  14. “Now there is a final reason I think that Jesus says, 'Love your enemies.' It is this: that love has within it a redemptive power. And there is a power there that eventually transforms individuals. Just keep being friendly to that person. Just keep loving them, and they can't stand it too long. Oh, they react in many ways in the beginning. They react with guilt feelings, and sometimes they'll hate you a little more at that transition period, but just keep loving them. And by the power of your love they will break down under the load. That's love, you see. It is redemptive, and this is why Jesus says love. There's something about love that builds up and is creative. There is something about hate that tears down and is destructive. So love your enemies.”

Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes On Justice

  1. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
    Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
  2. “Lightning makes no sound until it strikes.” 
  3. “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.”
  4. "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.”
  5. "Law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress."
  6. "No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream."
  7. "The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood."
  8. "A riot is the language of the unheard."
  9. "The limitation of riots, moral questions aside, is that they cannot win and their participants know it. Hence, rioting is not revolutionary but reactionary because it invites defeat. It involves an emotional catharsis, but it must be followed by a sense of futility.”
  10. "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.”
  11. "The moral arc of the universe bends at the elbow of justice.”
    The moral arc of the universe bends at the elbow of justice.
  12. "The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.

MLK Quotes On Education

  1. The complete education gives one not only power of concentration, but worthy objectives upon which to concentrate.
  2. I have the audacity to believe that people everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education, and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality, and freedom for their spirits.
  3. Education which stops with efficiency may prove the greatest menace to society.
    Education which stops with efficiency may prove the greatest menace to society.
  4. To save man from the morass of propaganda, in my opinion, is one of the chief aims of education.
  5. 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.
  6. Education must enable a man to become more efficient, to achieve with increasing facility the legitimate goals of his life.
  7. 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.
  8. Knowledge is a process of piling up facts; wisdom lies in their simplification.
  9. We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character–that is the goal of true education. 
  10. I too often find that most college men have a misconception of the purpose of education.
  11. At this point, I often wonder whether or not education is fulfilling its purpose.
  12. Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.
    Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.
  13. Education must also train one for quick, resolute and effective thinking.

Famous MLK Quotes On Peace

  1. The past is prophetic in that it asserts loudly that wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows.
  2. It is not enough to say we must not wage war. It is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it.
  3. True peace is not merely the absence of tension. It is the presence of justice.
    True peace is not merely the absence of tension. It is the presence of justice.
  4. We must concentrate not merely on the negative expulsion of war but the positive affirmation of peace.
  5. Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind.
    Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind.
  6. 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.

Martin Luther King Jr Quotes On Non-Violence

  1. “Nonviolence is absolute commitment to the way of love. Love is not emotional bash; it is not empty sentimentalism. It is the active outpouring of one’s whole being into the being of another.”
  2. "Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him.”
  3. “We adopt the means of nonviolence because our end is a community at peace with itself. We will try to persuade with our words, but if our words fail, we will try to persuade with our acts.”
  4. “We who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface hidden tension that is already alive”
  5. “Non-violence is a powerful and just weapon, which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals.”
    Non-violence is a powerful and just weapon, which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals.
  6. “At the center of non-violence stands the principle of love.”
    At the center of non-violence stands the principle of love.
  7. “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.”
  8. “World peace through nonviolent means is neither absurd nor unattainable. All other methods have failed. Thus we must begin anew. Nonviolence is a good starting point. Those of us who believe in this method can be voices of reason, sanity, and understanding amid the voices of violence, hatred, and emotion. We can very well set a mood of peace out of which a system of peace can be built.”

Martin Luther King Jr Quotes On Leadership & Purpose

  1. “A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.”
    A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.
  2. “Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?”
    Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others? - Martin Luther King - MLK
  3. “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.
  4. “Leadership never ascends from the pew to the pulpit, but invariably descends from the pulpit to the pew.”
  5. “All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”
  6. “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.”
  7. “We are not makers of history. We are made by history.”
    We are not makers of history. We are made by history. - Martin Luther King - MLK
  8.  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.
    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 - MLK

Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes On Freedom

  1. “Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever. The yearning for freedom eventually manifests itself.”
    Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever. The yearning for freedom eventually manifests itself. - Martin Luther King - MLK
  2. “If the cruelties of slavery could not stop us, the opposition we now face will surely fail. Because the goal of America is freedom, abused and scorned tho' we may be, our destiny is tied up with America's destiny.”
  3. “In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans, as 'right-to-work.' It provides no 'rights' and no 'works.' Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining...We demand this fraud be stopped.”
  4. “In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.”
  5. “When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, ‘Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!’ ”
  6. “If physical death is the price that I must pay to free my white brothers and sisters from a permanent death of the spirit, then nothing can be more redemptive.”

Martin Luther King Jr Inspirational Quotes

  1. “The time is always right to do what is right.”
    The time is always right to do what is right. - Martin Luther King - MLK
  2. “If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.”
    If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way. - Martin Luther King - MLK
  3. “Only in the darkness can you see the stars.”
  4. “We may have all come on different ships, but we're in the same boat now.”
    We may have all come on different ships, but we're in the same boat now. - Martin Luther King - MLK
  5. “Faith is taking the first step even when you can't see the whole staircase.”
    Faith is taking the first step even when you can't see the whole staircase. - Martin Luther King - MLK
  6. We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right.
  7. “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
    Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. - Martin Luther King - MLK
  8. “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.”
  9. “Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.”
  10.  “Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.”
  11.  “Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
  12. A right delayed is a right denied.
  13. We are prone to judge success by the index of our salaries or the size of our automobiles rather than by the quality of our service and relationship to mankind.
  14. There are some things so dear, some things so precious,some things so eternally true, that they are worth dying for. And i submit to you that if a man has not discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.
  15. I will not be intimidated, I will not be harassed. I will not be silent, and I will be heard.
  16. In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. - Martin Luther King - MLK
  17. Creative power can pull down mountains of evil and level hilltops of injustice.
  18. When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too     conservative.
  19. We must accept finite disappointment but never lose infinite hope.

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