Martin Luther King Jr. Day: MLK's Most Inspirational Quotes | Emily Bashforth

Martin Luther King Jr. Day: MLK's Most Inspirational Quotes


16th January 2017 marks Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which is celebrated annually on the third Monday of January, around the time of MLK's birthday, on the 15th of the month. We set aside this day to honour and remember Martin Luther King Jr., an American Baptist minister and activist who was a leader in the Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for his use of non-violent means of protest against injustice, based on his Christian beliefs.
Martin Luther King Jr. was a crucial part of the movement to end racial segregation in the United States of America and, without him, the chances of us living in the world we live in today are slim. Thanks to his inspirational speeches, (his most famous address being the "I Have A Dream" speech) he created a vision of racial equality in an extremely troubled country and paved the way for all. Despite countless obstacles, MLK remained true to himself and continued to fight for the abolition of racism, regardless of how badly he was being oppressed. As we know, racism is still prevalent in society today, however, MLK achieved great things. He was so successful in helping to end segregation and the disenfranchisement of African-Americans after being a victim of racism himself from a young age. In fact, he went on to become the youngest man to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968 but we still take time out of our busy lives today to remember all that he stood for and to remind ourselves of the influence he had on our world.

So, in order to honour the wonderful legacy this man left behind, here are a collection of his most inspiring, motivational quotes to fill you with drive, passion and greatness. Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

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

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

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

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

"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase."

"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."


"I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word."

"I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear."

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

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

"We are not makers of history. We are made by history."

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


"Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal."

"There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love."

"The quality, not the longevity, of one's life is what is important."

"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."

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

"Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever. The yearning for freedom eventually manifests itself."


"The question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be... The nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists."

"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."

"The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict."

"Philanthropy is commendable, but it must not cause the philanthropist to overlook the circumstances of economic injustice which make philanthropy necessary."

"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."

"There is nothing more tragic than to find an individual bogged down in the length of life, devoid of breadth."


"Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted."

"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. Nothing pains some people more than having to think."

"It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that's pretty important."

"Every man lives in two realms: the internal and the external. The internal is that realm of spiritual ends expressed in art, literature, morals, and religion. The external is that complex of devices, techniques, mechanisms, and instrumentalities by means of which we live."

"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."

"Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal."


"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."

"When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative."

"Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon. Indeed, it is a weapon unique in history, which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it."

"If we are to go forward, we must go back and rediscover those precious values - that all reality hinges on moral foundations and that all reality has spiritual control."

"War is a poor chisel to carve out tomorrow."

"We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools."


"Whatever your life's work is, do it well. A man should do his job so well that the living, the dead, and the unborn could do it no better."

"He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it."

"A riot is the language of the unheard."

"The first question which 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 do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?'"

"Seeing is not always believing."

"If a man has not discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live."


Love, Emily :) xx

0 comments: