15 Martin Luther King Day Quotes About Social Justice, Freedom, And Love That Continue To Inspire Us

The civil rights leader Martin Luther KIng (C) waves to supporters 28 August 1963 on the Mall in Washington DC (Washington Monument in background) during the 'March on Washington'. King said the march was 'the greatest demonstration of freedom in the history of the United States.' Martin Luther King was assassinated on 04 April 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee. James Earl Ray confessed to shooting King and was sentenced to 99 years in prison. King's killing sent shock waves through American society at the time, and is still regarded as a landmark event in recent US history. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)
Source: AFP/AFP/Getty Images

Words are a powerful tool when it comes to changing the world, and if anyone has demonstrated that fact flawlessly and with unlimited poise, it's MLK. Martin Luther King, Jr. quotes are more than just pretty words tied together with a string — they're seemingly endless bundles of wisdom, insight, and understanding that surpassed their time and rallied Americans around the country to fight for what they believed in. Dedicated to a man of inspiration who was fueled by passion and empowered by education, MLK Day is an important one to mark on your calendar, and one that represents a lot more than just a man's birthday. 

With the current protests for social justice occurring around the nation, there may be no better time than now to turn to the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. and embrace them in full. The world needs to change, and it's only through understanding, education, and love that it will change for the better. There is a reason this man left behind a legacy, was crucial for the Civil Rights Movement, and garnered the respect of millions during his lifetime and continually thereafter. So with that thought in mind, I say, live on, MLK... your words most certainly do.

1. "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."

2. "Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'"

3. "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will be judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."

4. "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."

5. "The time is always right to do what is right."

6. "We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope."

7. "The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character — that is the goal of true education."

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

9. "We may all have come from different ships, but we're in the same boat now."

10. "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."

11. "The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people, but the silence over that by the good people."

12. "Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness."

13. "Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed."

14. "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."

15. "Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend."

Images: Getty (16)

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