Authors - Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 - April 4, 1968) was an American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights in the United States and around the world, using nonviolent methods following the teachings of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. King has become a national icon in the history of modern American liberalism. - Wikipedia
All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.
Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see.
A right delayed is a right denied.
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.
True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice.
Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.
If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, 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 host of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well.
Religion operates not only on the vertical plane but also on the horizontal. It seeks not only to integrate men with God but to integrate men with men and each man with himself.
Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.
Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.
A man who won't die for something is not fit to live.
All who call on God in true faith, earnestly from the heart, will certainly be heard, and will receive what they have asked and desired.
The Negro needs the white man to free him from his fears. The white man needs the Negro to free him from his guilt.
There is nothing more tragic than to find an individual bogged down in the length of life, devoid of breadth.
Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.
I want to be the white man's brother, not his brother-in-law.
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit together at the table of brotherhood.
Before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth, we were here. Before the pen of Jefferson etched across the pages of history the majestic words of the Declaration of Independence, we were here. If the inexpressible cruelties of slavery could not stop us, the opposition we now face will surely fail.
Gandhi was inevitable. If humanity is to progress, Gandhi is inescapable. He lived, thought and acted, inspired by the vision of humanity evolving toward a world of peace and harmony. We may ignore Gandhi at our own risk.
Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.
I am not interested in power for power's sake, but I'm interested in power that is moral, that is right and that is good.
Nothing pains some people more than having to think.
Violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral. It is impractical because it is a descending spiral ending in destruction for all. It is immoral because it seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than win his understanding; it seeks to annihilate rather than to convert. Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love.
In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.
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.
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
If a man hasn't discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live.
Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.
Our nettlesome task is to discover how to organize our strength into compelling power.
Occasionally in life there are those moments of unutterable fulfillment which cannot be completely explained by those symbols called words. Their meanings can only be articulated by the inaudible language of the heart.
A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on the installment plan.
A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.
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?' And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because one's conscience tells one that 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 must learn to live together as brothers, or perish together as fools.
Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism.
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality.
It is incontestable and deplorable that Negroes have committed crimes; but they are derivative crimes. They are born of the greater crimes of the white society.
Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.
Forgiveness is not an occasional act: it is a permanent attitude.
Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'
Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.
We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people.
From the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire, let freedom ring. From the mighty mountains of New York, let freedom ring. From the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania, let freedom ring. But not only that: Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.
A riot is the language of the unheard.
True pacifism is not unrealistic submission to an evil power...it is rather a courageous confrontation with evil by the power of love, in the faith that it is better to be the recipient of violence than the inflicter of it, since the latter only multiplies the existence of violence and bitterness in the universe, while the former may develop a sense of shame in the opponent, and thereby bring about a transformation and change of heart.
Injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.
There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love.
I just want to do God's will.
Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.
An individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.
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.
We who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive.
The church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society.
I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.
Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.
Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man's sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true.
Music is a discipline, and a mistress of order and good manners, she makes the people milder and gentler, more moral and more reasonable.
Segregation is the adultery of an illicit intercourse between injustice and immorality.
All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality.
Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
One of the greatest casualties of the war in Vietnam is the Great Society... shot down on the battlefield of Vietnam.
Science investigates religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge which is power religion gives man wisdom which is control.
Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.
I submit to you that if a man hasn't discovered something he will die for, he isn't fit to live.
Ten thousand fools proclaim themselves into obscurity, while one wise man forgets himself into immortality.