Wide World of Quotes > Martin Luther King Quotes


Martin Luther King, Jr.
American civil rights leader
(1929-68)



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Cowardice asks the question, 'Is it safe?' Expediency asks the question, 'Is it politic?' Vanity asks the question, 'Is it popular? But, conscience asks the question, 'Is it right?' And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because one's conscience tells one that it is right.
-- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Now, I say to you today my friends, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: - 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.'
-- Martin Luther King, Jr., 1963

And I've looked over, and I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land. So I'm happy tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man.
-- Martin Luther King Jr., 1968

All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality.
-- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Faith is taking the first step, even when you don't see the whole staircase.
-- Martin Luther King, Jr.

I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.
-- Martin Luther King, Jr.

We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.
-- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.
-- Martin Luther King, Jr.

If you can’t fly, run; if you can’t run, walk; if you can’t walk, crawl; but by all means keep moving.
-- "Keep Moving from this Mountain" – Founders Day Address at the Sisters Chapel, Spelman College (11 April 1960). That address is quoted in full here.

[This quote is often repeated slightly incorrectly as: "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."]


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The selection of the above quotes and the writing of the accompanying notes was performed by the author David Paul Wagner.

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