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24 Inspiring Quotes by Martin Luther King Jr.

Some of Dr. King’s most powerful and inspiring quotes on equality, love, and justice.

Via (cc) Flickr user Mike Desisto

As we commemorate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., it’s clear that his teachings and leadership are still relevant 48 years after his passing. King’s birthday is a reminder that we still have a long way to go before making his dream come true. But his fearless confrontation of bigotry and unwavering quest for justice provide a road map. As a tribute to his brilliance and humanity, here are some of Dr. King’s most powerful and inspiring quotes on peace, love, and justice.


“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.”

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

“The time is always right to do what is right.”

“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.”

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

“Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind.”

“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.”

“We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right.”

“A riot is the language of the unheard.”

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

“If a man hasn’t discovered something he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.”

“The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.”

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

“Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness.”

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

“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.”

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

“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.”

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

“What is wrong in the world today is that the nations of the world are engaged in a bitter, colossal contest for supremacy.”

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

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

“We must all learn to live together as brothers—or we will all perish together as fools.”

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.”

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