60 MLK Quotes to Celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

MLK quotes

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a day the nation pauses in remembrance of a civil rights hero. Celebrate Dr. King whose accomplishments have continued to inspire generations with these MLK quotes.

Martin Luther King Jr. led the civil rights movement with love and peaceful protests – inspiring the nation. His speeches are some of the most iconic of the 20th century and had a profound effect on the national consciousness. His quotes continue to be an inspiration. Keep scrolling for MLK quotes, Martin Luther King Jr. quotes, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. quotes, and MLK quotes about love:


MLK Quotes

As we celebrate the life of a civil rights hero, use these MLK quotes to inspire greatness:

  • “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?'”
  • “Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness.”
  • “True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.”
  • “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”
  • “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.”

  • “Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope.”
  • “Let no man pull you so low as to hate him.”
  • “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.”
  • “We must come to see that the end we seek is a society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience.”
  • “Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability but comes through continuous struggle.”

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mlk jr quotes

Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes

Honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. with these quotes:

  • “Lightning makes no sound until it strikes.”
  • “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”
  • “There comes a time when people get tired of being pushed out of the glittering sunlight of life’s July and left standing amid the piercing chill of an alpine November.”
  • “Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
  • “I refuse to accept despair as the final response to the ambiguities of history.”
  • “I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. You can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be.”

  • “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
  • “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
  • “We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”
  • “A dreamer has his eyes closed and a visionary has his eyes open.”

mlk quotes

Quote by Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. words are still as meaningful today as they were during the peak of the Civil Rights Movement:

  • “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
  • “The time is always right to do what is right.”
  • “When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, ‘Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!’ “
  • “There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us.”

  • “If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.”
  • “That old law about ‘an eye for an eye’ leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do what is right.”
  • “Only in the darkness can you see the stars.”
  • “We are not makers of history. We are made by history.”
  • “The quality, not the longevity, of one’s life is what is important.”
  • “It is not enough to say we must not wage war. It is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it.”

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes

Let’s celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. legacy with these inspiring quotes:

  • “No one really knows why they are alive until they know what they’d die for.”
  • “It’s all right to tell a man to lift himself by his own bootstraps, but it is cruel jest to say to a bootless man that he ought to lift himself by his own bootstraps.”
  • “Courage is an inner resolution to go forward despite obstacles.”
  • “We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back.”
  • “Courage is the power of the mind to overcome fear.”

  • “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”
  • “Be a bush if you can’t be a tree. If you can’t be a highway, just be a trail. If you can’t be a sun, be a star. For it isn’t by size that you win or fail. Be the best of whatever you are.”
  • “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”
  • “We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear.”
  • “The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood.”

mlk quotes

Famous Quotes from Martin Luther King Jr.

Remembering Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous quotes as America honors his legacy:

  • “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. I have a dream today.”
  • “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
  • “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
  • “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
  • “I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream.”

  • “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.”
  • “Make a career of humanity. Commit yourself to the noble struggle for equal rights. You will make a better person of yourself, a greater nation of your country, and a finer world to live in.”
  • “If we are to have peace on earth, our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective.”
  • “Every nation must now develop an overriding loyalty to mankind as a whole in order to preserve the best in their individual societies.”
  • “Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.”


MLK Quotes About Love

The following MLK quotes about love helped shape the world today:

  • “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
  • “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.”
  • “Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.”
  • “Love is the greatest force in the universe. It is the heartbeat of the moral cosmos. He who loves is a participant in the being of God.”
  • “He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love.”

  • “Nonviolence is absolute commitment to the way of love. Love is not emotional bash; it is not empty sentimentalism. It is the active outpouring of one’s whole being into the being of another.”
  • “Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love.”
  • “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.”
  • “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.”
  • “There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love.”

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