10 Other Famous Martin Luther King, Jr. Quotes


As we celebrate this federal holiday, let's remember why it is that we have a day off. 

Martin Luther King Jr. was a prominent civil rights activist and leader in the mid-20th century. Born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1929, King became a Baptist minister. His first act of activism as a leader was the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955. This nonviolent protest against racial segregation on public transportation lasted over a year and resulted in a Supreme Court ruling that declared segregation on buses was unconstitutional.

King went on to lead many other civil rights protests and campaigns, including the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963, where he delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech. He also advocated for voting rights for African Americans and organized the Selma to Montgomery marches in 1965, which played a significant role in the passage of the Voting Rights Act.

King's commitment to nonviolent activism made him a powerful voice for justice and equality, but it also made him a target of violence and hatred. He was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee in 1968.

Almost everyone is familiar with Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous I have a dream speech, but as a pastor and a passionate speaker and activist, he has left the world with a multitude of other beautiful quotes.

  • “Forgiveness is not an occasional act. It is a permanent attitude.”
  • “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
  • “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
  • “The time is always ripe to do right.”
  • “Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve. ... You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
  • “Cowardice asks the question, ‘Is it safe?’ Expediency asks the question, ‘Is it politic?’ Vanity asks the question, ‘Is it popular?’ But Conscience asks the question, ‘Is it right?’
  • “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”
  • “Time is neutral, it can be used either constructively or destructively.”
  • “We have come a long, long way, but we have a long, long way to go.”

If you're interested in reading more about Martin Luther King Jr. head over to ArcadiaPublishing.com to find some great histories, and if you want more quotes, check out this amazing book!