Martin Luther King Jr. Day, celebrated on the third Monday of January every year, was established to honour Martin Luther King Jr., a prominent figure in the American Civil Rights Movement. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is an opportunity for us to reflect on his life achievements and take up his call for racial equality. In this blog post, we will share some quotes from Martin Luther King Jr.’s speeches that are worth remembering and contemplating today and throughout the new year!
Martin Luther King Jr. Day, celebrated on the third Monday of January every year, was established to honour Martin Luther King Jr., a prominent figure in the American Civil Rights Movement. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is an opportunity for us to reflect on his life achievements and take up his call for racial equality. In this blog post, we will share some quotes from Martin Luther King Jr.’s speeches worth remembering and contemplating today and throughout the new year!
Table of contents
- Great Motivational Martin Luther King Jr. Day Quotes
- Martin Luther king jr. day famous quotes
- Martin Luther king jr day 2021 quotes
- Dr. martin luther king jr. day quotes
- Great Motivational Martin Luther King Jr. Day Quotes
- Inspirational Quotes from Martin Luther King Jr.
- Collection of the Most Popular Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes
Great Motivational Martin Luther King Jr. Day Quotes
There are many things to remember about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., not just his ideas and non-violent activism for civil rights in America but also as an excellent public speaker and orator. Here are some of his greatest quotes:
- 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.
- Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve a lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope. and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples to build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance. -Robert F. Kennedy
- The time is always right to do what is right. -Martin Luther King, Jr.
- 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 your verb agrees to serve. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love. -Martin Luther King, Jr.
- One day our descendants will think it incredible that we paid so much attention to things like the amount of melanin in our skin or the shape of our eyes or our gender instead of the unique identities of each of us as complex human beings. -Franklin Thomas
- Racism is man’s gravest threat to man – the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason. -Abraham Joshua Heschel
- Prejudices are the chains forged by ignorance to keep men apart. -Countess of Blessington
- It is often easier to become outraged by injustice half a world away than by oppression and discrimination half a block from home. -Carl T. Rowan
- How wonderful it is that nobody needs to wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. -Anne Frank
- Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself. -Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy
Martin Luther king jr. day famous quotes
- The purpose of life is not to be happy – but to matter, to be productive, to be useful, to have it make some difference that you have lived at all. -Leo Rosten
- I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community, and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. -George Bernard Shaw
- Past the seeker, as he prayed, came the disabled and the beggar and the beaten. And seeing them. he cried, “Great God, how is it that a loving creator can see such things and yet do nothing about them?” God said, “I did do something. I made you.” -Author Unknown.
- A handful of pine seed will cover mountains with the green majesty of a forest. I, too, will set my face to the wind and throw my handful of seed on high. -Fiona MacLeod
- What a person believes is not as important as how a person believes. -Timothy Virkkala
- You must be the change you wish to see in the world. -Mahatma Gandhi
- If everyone howled at every injustice, every act of barbarism, every act of unkindness, then we would be taking the first step towards a real humanity. -Nelson DeMille
- Dare to do things worthy of imprisonment if you mean to be of consequence. -Juvenal
- We cannot, by total reliance on law, escape the duty to judge right and wrong. There are good laws, and there are occasionally bad laws, and it conforms to the highest traditions of a free society to offer resistance to bad laws and to disobey them. -Alexander Bickel
- Racism isn’t born, folks; it’s taught. I have a two-year-old son. Do you know what he hates? Naps! End of list. -Dennis Leary
Martin Luther king jr day 2021 quotes
- I swear to the Lord, I still can’t see, Why Democracy means, Everybody but me. -Langston Hughes, The Black Man Speaks
- To live anywhere in the world today and be against equality because of race or colour is like living in Alaska and being against snow. -William Faulkner, Essays, Speeches and Public Letters
- Laundry is the only thing that should be separated by colour. -Author Unknown
- Racial superiority is a mere figment of the imagination. -Author Unknown
- I am working for the time when unqualified blacks, browns, and women join the unqualified men in running our government. -Cissy Farenthold
- I would remind you that extremism in defence of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue. -Barry Goldwater
- And we who have toiled for freedom’s law, have we fought for freedom’s soul? Have we learned at last that human right is not a part but the whole? -John Boyle O’Reilly
- Leadership is action, not position. -Donald H. McGannon
- Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does. -William James
- It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do little – do what you can. -Sydney Smith
Dr. martin luther king jr. day quotes
- Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something. -Author Unknown
- Dare to reach out your hand into the darkness, to pull another hand into the light. -Norman B. Rice
- What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal. -Albert Pike
- It’s easy to make a buck. It’s a lot tougher to make a difference. -Tom Brokaw
- A candle loses none of its light by lighting another candle. -Author Unknown
- Not only must we be good, but we must also be good for something. -Henry David Thoreau
- If you have time to whine and complain about something, then you have the time to do something about it. -Anthony J. D’Angelo, The College Blue Book
- My life is my message. -Mahatma Gandhi
- If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito. -Betty Reese
- A snowflake is one of God’s most fragile creations, but look what they can do when they stick together! -Author Unknown
Great Motivational Martin Luther King Jr. Day Quotes
- The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes but also by the aggregate of tiny pushes of each honest worker. -Helen Keller
- Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person. -Mother Teresa
- Never do anything against conscience, even if the state demands it. -Albert Einstein
- When leaders act contrary to conscience, we must act contrary to leaders. -Veterans Fast for Life
- If. the machine of government. is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law. -Henry David Thoreau, On the Duty of Civil Disobedience, 1849
- If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality. -Bishop Desmond Tutu
- When your first name becomes “nigger,” your middle name becomes “boy” (however old you are), and your wife and mother are never given the respected title “Mrs.”; when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro. when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of “nobodiness” – then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait. -Martin Luther King, Jr., “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” Why We Can’t-Wait, 1963
- The majority of the Negroes who took part in the year-long boycott of Montgomery’s buses were poor and untutored, but they understood the essence of the Montgomery movement; one older woman summed it up for the rest. When asked after several weeks of walking whether she was tired, she answered: “My feet are tired, but my soul is at rest.” -Martin Luther King, Jr., Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story, 1958
- I will always remember my delight when Mrs. Georgia Gilmore – an unlettered woman of unusual intelligence – told how an operator demanded that she get off the bus after paying her fare and board it again by the back door and then drove away before she could get there. She turned to Judge Carter and said: “When they count the money, they do not know Negro money from white money.” -Martin Luther King, Jr., March 1956
- As television beamed the image of this extraordinary gathering across the border oceans, everyone who believed in man’s capacity to better himself had a moment of inspiration and confidence in the future of the human race. -Martin Luther King, Jr., about the March on Washington in the summer of 1963, Why We Can’t-Wait, 1963
Inspirational Quotes from Martin Luther King Jr.
- It must be emphasized that nonviolent resistance is not a method for cowards; it does resist. If one uses this method because he is afraid or merely because he lacks the instruments of violence, he is not truly nonviolent. This is why Gandhi often said that if cowardice is the only alternative to violence, it is better to fight. -Martin Luther King, Jr., Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story, 1958
- The conservatives who say, “Let us not move so fast,” and the extremists who say, “Let us go out and whip the world,” would tell you that they are as far apart as the poles. But there is a striking parallel: They accomplish nothing, for they do not reach the people who have a crying need to be free. -Martin Luther King, Jr., Why We Can’t-Wait, 1963
- A fifth point concerning nonviolent resistance is that it avoids not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. The nonviolent resister not only refuses to shoot his opponent, but he also refuses to hate him. -Martin Luther King, Jr., Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story, 1958
- We did not hesitate to call our movement an army. But it was a special army, with no supplies but its sincerity, no uniform but its determination, no arsenal except its faith, no currency but its conscience. -Martin Luther King, Jr., Why We Can’t-Wait, 1963
- Today we know with certainty that segregation is dead. The only question remaining is how costly the funeral will be. -Martin Luther King, Jr., Strength to Love, 1963
- A law is unjust if it is inflicted on a minority that, as a result of being denied the right to vote, had no part in enacting or devising the law. Who can say that the legislature of Alabama which set up the state’s segregation laws was democratically elected? -Martin Luther King, Jr., “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” Why We Can’t-Wait, 1963
- We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers. Our abundance has brought us neither peace of mind nor serenity of spirit. -Martin Luther King, Jr., Strength to Love, 1963
- I would be the last to condemn the thousands of sincere and dedicated people outside the churches who have laboured unselfishly through various humanitarian movements to cure the world of social evils, for I would rather a man be a committed humanist than an uncommitted Christian. -Martin Luther King, Jr., Strength to Love, 1963
- The oceans of history are made turbulent by the ever-rising tides of hate. History is cluttered with the wreckage of nations and individuals that pursued that self-defeating path of hate. Love is the key to the solution to the problems of the world. -Martin Luther King, Jr., Nobel Prize lecture, December 11, 1968
- Will we march only to the music of the time, or will we, risking criticism and abuse, march to the soul-saving music of eternity? -Martin Luther King, Jr., Strength to Love, 1963
Collection of the Most Popular Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes
- When Negroes looked for the second phase, the realization of equality, they found that many of their white allies had quietly disappeared. To stay murder is not the same thing as to ordain brotherhood. -Martin Luther King, Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? 1967
- Black Power alone is no more insurance against social injustice than white power. -Martin Luther King, Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? 1967
- In the final analysis, the weakness of Black Power is its failure to see that the black man needs the white man and the white man needs the black man. -Martin Luther King, Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? 1967
- The problem with hatred and violence is that they intensity the fears of the white majority and leave them less ashamed of their prejudices toward Negroes. -Martin Luther King, Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? 1967
- I still have a dream today that one day war will come to an end, that men will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks, that nations will no longer rise up against nations, neither will they study war anymore. -Martin Luther King, Jr., The Trumpet of Conscience, 1968
- We were taking the black young men who had been crippled by our society and sending them eight thousand miles away to guarantee liberties in Southeast Asia which they had not found in southwest Georgia and East Harlem. -Martin Luther King, Jr., The Trumpet of Conscience, 1968
- As a teenager, I had never been able to accept the fact of having to go to the back of a bus or sit in the segregated section of a train. The first time I had been seated behind a curtain in a dining car, I felt as if the curtain had been dropped on my selfhood. -Martin Luther King, Jr., Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story, 1958
- We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people. -Martin Luther King, Jr.
- The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: “If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?” But. the good Samaritan reversed the question: “If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?” -Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase. -Martin Luther King, Jr.
- The means by which we live have outdistanced the ends for which we live. Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men. -Martin Luther King, Jr., Strength to Love, 1963
- If a man is called a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and Earth will pause to say, Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well. -Martin Luther King, Jr.
- I am convinced that the universe is under the control of a loving purpose and that in the struggle for righteousness, man has cosmic companionship. -Martin Luther King, Jr.
- We are the heirs of a past of rope, fire, and murder. I, for one, am not ashamed of this past. My shame is for those who became so inhuman that they could inflict this torture upon us. -Martin Luther King, Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? 1967
- It was argued that the Negro was inferior by nature because of Noah’s curse upon the children of Ham. The greatest blasphemy of the whole ugly process was that the white man ended up making God his partner in the exploitation of the Negro. -Martin Luther King, Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? 1967
- Even when the polls are open to all, Negroes have shown themselves too slow to exercise their voting privileges. There must be a concerted effort on the part of Negro leaders to arouse their people from their apathetic indifference. In the past, apathy was a moral failure. Today, it is a form of moral and political suicide. -Martin Luther King, Jr., Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story, 1958
- The Negro is the child of two cultures – Africa and America. The problem is that in the search for wholeness, all too many Negroes seek to embrace only one side of their natures. -Martin Luther King, Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? 1967
- And so we shall have to do more than register and more than vote; we shall have to create leaders who embody virtues we can respect, who have moral and ethical principles we can applaud with enthusiasm. -Martin Luther King, Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? 1967
- There comes a time when people get tired of being plunged into the abyss of exploitation and nagging injustice. -Martin Luther King, Jr., Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story, 1958
- If you will protest courageously, and yet with dignity and Christian love, when the history books are written in future generations, the historians will have to pause and say, “There lived a great people – a black people – who injected new meaning and dignity into the veins of civilization.” This is our challenge and our overwhelming responsibility. -Martin Luther King, Jr., address to Holt Street Baptist Church, December 5, 1955
Conclusion paragraph: It’s MLK Day, and we wanted to share some of our favourite Martin Luther King Jr. quotes with you. We hope that these words can help inspire you in your quest for equality and justice! Remember his legacy by quoting him when appropriate or just reading one of the many books written about his life story. What are some other inspirational quotes from Dr. King? Let us know in the comments below! Happy Martin Luther King day, everyone!
Read More quotes like Martin Luther King Jr. Day Quotes.