The Words of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Fox and Hounds Daily Editors
 

(Editor’s Note: Traditionally on the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, we publish only one article to honor and remember Dr. King and what he stood for. Today we publish again some quotes from the writings and speeches of Dr. King.)

“All we say to America is, ‘Be true to what you said on paper.’ If I lived in China or even Russia, or any totalitarian country, maybe I could understand the denial of certain basic First Amendment privileges, because they hadn’t committed themselves to that over there. But somewhere I read of the freedom of assembly. Somewhere I read of the freedom of speech. Somewhere I read of the freedom of the press. Somewhere I read that the greatness of America is the right to protest for right.”

“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.”

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

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

“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.”

“There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe nor politic nor popular, but he must take it because his conscience tells him it is right.”

“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 verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

“We are not makers of history. We are made by history.”

“We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”

“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent.”

“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.”

“A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.”

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

“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.”

“We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now because I’ve been to the mountaintop . . .I’ve looked over and I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land.”

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