10 Quotes From Martin Luther King Jr. That Should Not Be Forgotten

The heart of the Civil Rights movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Baptist minister, one of the few leadership roles that were available for black men at the time. Martin Luther King, Jr. became a civil rights activist early in his career, and he had a great impact in raising public consciousness about the civil rights movement. King was especially motivated to raise consciousness of and end segregation as well as racial discrimination through civil disobedience and other non-violent movements. King led the Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955-1956) and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (1957). In March of 1963, King delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech and established himself as one of the greatest orators in U.S. history. 

On April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee, Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. However, his legacy did not end there nor did his movement. Today marks forty-seven years since King passed, and his words ring truer than ever. King's words teach us of equality, integrity, love, compassion, and working toward a world free of hate and injustice toward people of color. 

This MLK Day, many are joining the national call to #ReclaimMLK. 

1. “A man who won't die for something is not fit to live.”

2. “Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding a deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”

3. “I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

4. “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

5. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

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

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

8. “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.”

9. “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.”

10. “As my sufferings mounted I soon realized that there were two ways in which I could respond to my situation -- either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course.”

Quotes are from I Have a Dream: Writings and Speeches That Changed the WorldA Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and SpeechesA Knock at Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. and The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.