Martin Luther King is one of the most influential figures of modernity. This American Baptist pastor is best known for his important role in defending the rights of the black population in the United States, fighting racial segregation and participating in protests against conflicts such as the Vietnam War.
He proposed an unarmed combat, carrying out numerous marches in defense of civil rights and obtaining the promulgation of laws such as the Civil Rights Law of 64. His reflection is long and has inspired many people to fight for their rights. and to pursue their dreams both during their lifetime and after their death, murder.
In this article you will find a selection of Martin Luther King’s best quotes.
- Another selection of phrases for equality: “The 24 best phrases of Malcolm X”
Famous quotes and phrases from Martin Luther King
Below we present a series of seventy sentences by Luther King that allow us to visualize and deepen his thinking and his way of understanding life and society.
1. I dream that one day, in the red hills of Georgia, the children of former slaves and the children of former slave owners will be able to sit together at the table of brotherhood.
In this part of his legendary speech, King reflects his desire to achieve equality between Caucasians and African Americans and to end racial segregation and differences between people of different skin color.
2. I have a dream, only one dream, keep dreaming. Dreaming of freedom, dreaming of justice, dreaming of equality and I hope I don’t need to dream anymore
In this sentence, the pastor expresses his desire to achieve equality and justice among people. It is a slogan of the equality movements that oppose racism.
3. Your truth will increase as you learn to hear the truth of others.
This phrase refers to the need to listen, value, accept and take into account the positions of others, whether they resemble or contradict one’s own, in order to have a more impartial vision and a more great perspective of things.
4. What is worrying is not the wickedness of the wicked but the indifference of the good
There are people who do not accept positions other than their own, who want to impose them and even try to hurt others by breaking their integrity and their rights. However, if those who do not share this point of view do not act to restrict and protect the rights of others, they are accomplices and allow them to succeed although in principle they oppose their action.
5. We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope
Life events can hurt us and disappoint our expectations, but we should never give up hope.
6. Darkness cannot undo darkness: only light can.
Violence cannot end with more violenceBut we must work from peace, disobedience and peaceful resistance and dialogue.
7. If man has discovered nothing to die for, he is not worthy to live.
It’s essential for this pastor of the Baptist church to have something to strive for and to live for, and to come and give life for.
8. What is achieved with violence can only be maintained with violence
With this phrase, King expresses his belief that social successes and struggles are achieved through nonviolent actions.
9. A man does not measure his height in times of comfort, but in times of change and controversy
A person’s worth is manifested in difficult times, when they have to test their beliefs and skills.
10. Freedom is never granted voluntarily by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.
True freedom is what is obtained despite challenges and obstacles, not what is granted as a mere whim that can come and go at the whim of the oppressor.
11. Our lives begin to end the day we keep quiet about the things that matter.
King declares in this sentence that we must strive for what matters to us and not give in to difficulties and obstacles.
12. We must build dikes of courage to contain the avalanche of fear
Fear paralyzes us and can cause us not to act or act contrary to what we would like. We have to face our fears.
13. The time is coming when silence is betrayal
Once again, the author of this sentence expresses the need not to consent to the action of those who abuse and destroy the rights of others, because silence makes them able to do what they want and makes us accomplices indirect of their actions to enable them to harm others. .
14. I am looking for the day when people are not judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character
We should not judge people based on their physical characteristics, But by their actions and how they interact with others.
15. One of the biggest problems in our society is that the concepts of love and power have always been seen as opposites.
Power and love have traditionally been viewed as opposites, but in reality they should act together in order to achieve effective but fair action towards citizens.
16. Power without love is abusive and oppressive, while love without power is anemic and overly permissive.
Power exercised without love is despot and does not care about others, while love without power cannot be decisive or act.
17. It’s always a good time to do what’s right
What needs to be done needs to be done at any time, no excuses.
18. Peace is not only a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we achieve that goal.
King proposed the use of peaceful methods to fight for civil rights. It is not only a boss but also a means to achieve other goals.
19. Only in the dark can you see the stars
Only those who have suffered can fully value small things and moments of peace and happiness. Through suffering, we learn to fight and dream of goals and objectives.
20. If I help a person to have hope, I will not have lived in vain
Seek the good for others, defend their rights or even just making someone dream or smile, even if it only affects one person, can give meaning to a life.
21. Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.
Love, one of the most powerful forces, can cause us to change our perception of others and to accept their views.
22. If you knew that the world would end tomorrow, I, today, would plant another tree.
There is no need to give up hope even though things can turn out badly. We always have to fight for what we want.
23. Injustice, wherever it may be, is a threat to the justice of anyone
Failure to respect the rights of people in one place poses a threat to everyone.
24. If you can’t fly, run. If you can’t run, walk. If you can’t walk, crawl. But whatever you do, always move on
We must always move forward, even if we have to move slowly and the road is full of difficulties.
25. I’m not black, I’m a man
In this sentence, King reflects that we are all human beings, regardless of the color or condition of our skin.
26. Nothing is forgotten slower than an offense and nothing faster than a favor
What they do for us is often quickly forgotten by most people, while what is done against them usually lingers in the mind and comes face to face and is used to justify hostilities.
27. Whatever job in your life is, do it right. A man must do his job so well that the living, the dead and unborn children cannot do better.
Vocation and effort must be constant whatever we do. If something that excites us, we must apply it with all our zeal.
28. The first question the priest and the Levite asked was, “If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?” But the Good Samaritan reversed the question: “If I keep helping this man, what will happen to him?”
Often times, fear is what keeps us from fighting for the rights of others even though we think they should have them. However, we have to ask ourselves what will happen to the people we choose not to help and the consequences of our inaction.
29. I decided to bet on love. Hatred is too heavy a burden
Still hating what hurts us can be easy, it carries a heavy burden that causes us to hurt each other. Although it may require more effort, forgiveness and love can lead us to achieve our goals at peace and free from the chain of hate.
30. Non-violence is not a sterile passivity, but a powerful moral force which is made for social transformation
Nonviolence is sometimes understood as lack of action and is seen as ineffective in bringing about change. However, great transformations have been achieved through this force due to the manifestation of values, beliefs and intentions that can be expressed through their application without causing damage to the opposite position.
31. Faith takes the first step, even if you can’t see the whole ladder
By faith and hope, the human being is able to face the unknown and to act without being able to foresee what will happen.
32. In the end, we will not remember the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends
Enemies can hurt us, but what will really affect us is the passivity of those we want in the face of our own suffering.
33. Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable. Every step towards the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering and struggle
Success and the pursuit of justice do not come without effort.
34. There comes a time when one has to adopt a position that is not certain, neither political nor popular. But you have to take it because it’s the right one
King urges us to do the right thing and do it even if it is not socially acceptable or may cause harm.
35. We have learned to fly like birds, to swim like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living like brothers.
Human beings have made considerable progress in various fields. But even today, we continue to treat each other with contempt and attack each other.
Let us be unhappy until the tragic walls that separate the outer city of wealth and comfort, the inner city of poverty and despair are crushed by the blows of the forces of justice.
This sentence proposes to fight for justice and equality among all human beings.
37. Nothing makes a man despise more than to let him down to the point of hating someone
Hate brings out our lowest passions and the desire for bad things to happen to the hated. The person he hates focuses his being on the emotions and feelings that degrade him and distort his performance. In fact, hatred is one of the main reasons why so many crimes are committed.
38. Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and stupidity
Lack of knowledge about an element or aspect of reality causes that element to be rejected, ignored or even attacked. We fear what we don’t know, and this fear often leads to rejection.
39. Despite our efforts, we have not had earth shaking victories, but neither have we been defeated.
The process of combating racial segregation has been long and eventful, fraught with pitfalls. However, the fact that people don’t give up is what caused many people to start to assess the situation in a different way and voice their opinion.
40. The best way to solve any problem is to eliminate its cause.
Martin Luther King expresses the need to focus not on the problem in question, but on the cause that generates it, so as to solve both the specific problem and any regrowth or new problems.
41. An individual has only begun to live when he can transcend the narrow limits of his individualistic concerns for the larger concerns of all mankind.
Being able to see and strive for the needs of others and put our own aside allows us to move forward in life and in improving community and society.
42. Intelligence plus character. This is the goal of true education
Education must seek to promote not only intellectualityBut also help build character, promote positive values and improve the ability to strive for what we want and believe.
43. Submission and tolerance are not the moral path, but it is often the most comfortable path.
It is easy to submit and follow what is dictated to us, but we will often have to struggle and act against what is dictated if we are to improve the world and society.
44. If a man is called to be a garbage collector, he must sweep the streets as Michelangelo painted, or as Beethoven composed music, or as Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep the streets so well that all the armies of heaven and earth could stop and say: here lived a great garbage man who did his job well.
All work is worth it and, if that is what we are passionate about, it should be done with the greatest efficiency and with the greatest effort. We have to give the best of ourselves in everything we do.
45. The dedicated creative minority has almost always made the world a better place
Minorities are always those who promote change in society, especially those who create and introduce new elements that have not been taken into account by the majority.
46. I have three dangerous dogs: ingratitude, pride and envy. When they bite they leave a deep wound
King indicates in this sentence some of the elements which pose a danger when it comes to achieving a just and egalitarian society.
47. The hope for a safe and livable world rests on disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood.
Those who strive for justice are those who can achieve a just, equal and secure future for all.
48. Wars are bad scissors for forging peaceful mornings
Violence will hardly bring peace, And when it does, it is only temporary.
49. When we look at modern man, we must realize that modern man suffers from a kind of poverty of spirit, which contrasts sharply with his scientific and technological abundance.
Human beings today have made great strides in technical aspects and knowledge, but they are more and more individualistic, egocentric, materialistic and conformist.
50. guard against violence, whether expressed through the tongue, the fist or the heart
King has always opposed violence, which he considers to be of no benefit and is unnecessary and unnecessary in any form of expression.
51. Violence creates more social problems than it solves
In accordance with the sentence above, we are told that most of the problems that can arise arise from violence even when it is applied in an attempt to solve problems.
52. The hottest place in hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict
King criticizes the attitude of those who do not take a stand on important situations because they prefer to ignore what is going on.
53. No one will ride on us if we don’t bend our backs
This sentence urges us not to let ourselves be overpowered. We must not allow others to place us in below them or circumvent our rights.
54. Law and order are there to establish justice, and when they fail to do so, they become the prey that blocks the flow of social progress.
Although the original intention of the law is to create a more just world, it is generally rigid and difficult to change, so that when it does not achieve that justice, it can be an obstacle to the introduction of changes. or social improvements that allow its purpose.
55. What is incapable of forgiving is incapable of loving
We all hurt others sometimes, on purpose or unintentionally. He who loves must be able to forgive the beloved. If we cannot forgive, we will no longer be able to love.
56. Take your first step now. You don’t need to see the full path. Take the first step. The rest will appear as you walk
The well-known Baptist pastor encourages us with this phrase to dare to act even if we do not know where this action will take us.
57. Love your enemies
If we want to agree, it is necessary to establish an understanding, and for this it requires that what is considered an enemy to become a friend. We must be able to forgive and love even those who hurt us.
58. It doesn’t matter how long you live but how you live. If you live well and die young, you may have contributed more than a person up to eighty caring only for yourself.
The time we live in is not what matters, but what we do with it to help create a better world.
59. Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal
Good and bad don’t always go hand in hand. Many laws have been created, changed and exploited for the benefit of one or a few and to the detriment of others by ignoring what is right. This is why he sometimes has to fight for this justice even if it goes against what the law says.
60. No lie lives forever
No matter how long the lie lasts, at some point someone will seek the truth. As long as injustice is at the end of the day, it will eventually be defeated by those who seek justice.
61. People do not behave well because they are afraid; they are afraid because they do not know each other; they are not known because they have not been communicated
Martin Luther King reflects in this sentence the need to communicate and making contacts between different people and groups so that we learn from each other and realize that deep down we are similar, thus removing fear from others.
62. We must speak with all the humility that befits our limited vision, but we must speak
We may not know everything and maybe our perception is partly wrong, but we need to speak out and show our position.
63. The return of hatred for hatred multiplies hatred, adds a deeper darkness to an already starless night.
Hate and violence only generate more hatred and violence, so responding to them in the same way only amplifies and prolongs the original problem.
64. Blacks live on an isolated island of poverty, in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity
The situation of the black population at that time was dramatic: they were attacked, less valued, less paid and practically ignored by the majority of the population, in addition to having very little access to education, to well-paid jobs or to to high positions in the country. country. »Social list. In reality, even marriage between people of different races was forbidden and punished by law.
65. Dig a tunnel of hope through a dark mountain of despair
Many people fall into despair and give up, stopping the fighting. We need to overcome this feeling and have hope that we can face and overcome situations.
66. In order to have enemies, it is not necessary to declare war; just say what you think
Expressing your thoughts and beliefs can lead to hostility from those who don’t understand them or who see them as a threat to theirs, even if that’s not why they should censor.
67. Those who do not seek happiness are more likely to find it, because those who seek it forget that the surest way to be happy is to seek happiness for others.
This sentence indicates that those who seek so much to be happy tend to focus on themselves and put everything else aside, when in reality a large part of the moments of happiness occur when we try to make others feel good. happy.
68. Never be afraid to do the right thing, especially if the welfare of a person or an animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are minimal compared to the injuries we inflict on our souls. when we look away.
We must fight for what we believe to be right, even if it means breaking the law and punishing it.
69. Segregation is a cancer in the body politic, which must be eliminated before our democratic health can be achieved. Segregation is bad because it is nothing more than a new form of slavery disguised with some subtleties of complexity. Segregation is bad because it is a system of adultery perpetuated by an illicit relationship between injustice and immorality. And in Birmingham, Alabama, and down south and across the country, we’re just saying we’ll no longer be able to sell our birthright to freedom for a separate plate of lentils.
In these sentences, King reflects what represents segregation, disgust of the African American population and its intention to fight against the injustice it entails.
70. Love is the most enduring power in the world. This creative force, so well illustrated in the life of our Christ, is the most powerful instrument at humanity’s disposal to seek peace and security.
This phrase from Martin Luther King expresses the importance of love as the main force that drives the world towards the pursuit of the common good and which seeks justice and peace.