60+ Best Martin Luther King Jr. Inspiring Quotes

60+ Best Martin Luther King Jr. Inspiring Quotes

Martin Luther King Jr. (was born Michael King Jr.) on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Was an African American Baptist minister, social activist, and leader of the civil rights movement in the US.

Had led thousands of nonviolent protests that brought out positive results and made him known internationally at an early age; and also became a target for white supremacists who firebombed his family home earlier in 1968.

King was awarded a Nobel Prize for peace in 1964, four years before his death.

April 4th, 1968 at the age of 39, King was shot dead by an assassin in Memphis, Tennessee when he was there to support compensation for black sanitation workers.

The world has witnessed a great change, but King’s message survives intact.

MLK Jr’s words were spoken decades ago in hopes of giving African Americans the brighter future and equality they deserved.

Here are 60+ King’s quotes on love, freedom, progress, life, education, perseverance, and hope.


1. “If you are thinking about the highest good, I think you can find it through love.”

2. “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.”

3. “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.”

4. “Find a voice in a whisper.”

5. “I have a dream that one day little black boys and girls will be holding hands with little white boys and girls.”

6. “You see equality is not only a matter of mathematics and geometry, but it’s a matter of psychology.”

7. “No work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”

8. “There is no gain without struggle.”

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9. “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.”

10. “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, “What are you doing for others?”.

11.”If we are not careful, our colleges will produce a group of close-minded, unscientific, illogical propagandists, consumed with immoral acts. Be careful, ‘brethren!’ Be careful teachers.”

13. “Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.”

14. “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to hear.”

15. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

16. “Change doesn’t roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.”

17. “So even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream.”

18. “No one really knows why they are alive until they know what they would die for.”

19. “Those who are not looking for happiness are the most likely to find it because those who are searching forget that the surest way to be happy is to seek happiness for others.”

20. “We must substitute courage for caution.”

21. “We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right.”

22. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate,  only love can do that.”

23. “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

24. “Not everybody can be famous but everybody can be great,- because greatness is determined by service.”

25. “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.”

26. “There is nothing more majestic and sublime than the quiet testimony of a people willing to sacrifice and suffer for the cause of freedom.”

27. “We must accept finite disappointment,  but never lose infinite hope.”

28. “It does not matter how long you live, but how well you do it.”

29. “If I can do great things, I can do small things in a great way.”

60+ Best Martin Luther King Jr. Inspiring Quotes

30. “We must build the dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear.”

31. “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.”

32. “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.”

33. “The time is always right to do what is right.”

34. “We have learned to fly the air like birds. We have learned to swim the seas like fish. And yet we haven’t  learned to walk the earth like brothers and sisters.”

35. “True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.”

36. “If you can’t fly, then run, if you can’t run, then walk, if you can’t walk, then crawl; but by all means keep moving.”

37. “Courage is an inner resolution to go forward despite obstacles.”

38. “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.”

39. “We can’t walk alone. And as we walk we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We can’t turn back.”

40. “Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon. Indeed it is a weapon unique in history, which cuts without wounding and enables the man who wields it.”

41. “Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a constant attitude.”

42. “I’m the end, we will remember not the words of your enemies, but the silence of your friends.”

43. “The old law of an eye for an eye leaves everybody blind.”

44. “One day we will learn that the heart can never be totally right when the head is totally wrong.”

45. “We know through a painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor, it must be demanded by the oppressed.”

46. “So in the days ahead let us not sink into the quicksand of violence; rather let us stand on the high ground of love and non-injury.”

47. “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy to a friend.”

48. “Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge, which is power; religion gives man wisdom, which is control. Science deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals.”

49. “Lighting makes no sound until it strikes.”

50. “So it means that we must rise up and protest courageously wherever we find segregation. Yes, we must do it nonviolently. We can’t afford to use violence in the struggle.”

51. “We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools.’

52. “For when people get caught up with that which is right and they are willing to sacrifice for it, there is no stopping point short of victory.”

53. “But I know, somehow, that only when it is dark enough can you see the stars.”

54. “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”

55. “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.”

56. “We must learn passively to accept an unjust system is to cooperate with that system, and thereby to become a participant in its evil.”

57. “A right delayed is a right denied.”

58. “Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness.”

59. “A lie cannot live.”

60. “There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love.”

61. “In the end, we will remember not the words of your enemies but the silence of your friends.”

Read next: 50 Best Inspiring Never Give Up Quotes 


From all the MLK quotes you read above, you actually have gained a little understanding, if not big about the life he lived, what he was up to, and how much he tried to make equality the world’s surface.

MLK was nothing but a man that wanted the universe to be a better place for all ethnicities. Let us live what he preached and continue to be his agents.

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Kelvin Chaisson

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