Martin Luther King quotes: MLK’s most inspiring lines

Martin Luther King Jr s prophecy of peace, 50 years on

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His many inspiring speeches offered considerable hope to those fighting for a better life in America and around the world throughout the 1950s and 60s, and his nonviolent approach to protest has been imitated in fights for justice across the world. Here are some of Martin Luther King Jr’s most inspiring quotes.

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

  • From his famous August 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech.

“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.”

  • April 1960 address at Spelman College.

READ MORE: Martin Luther King Day 2022: Why we celebrate Dr King on January 17

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of convenience and comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

  • From his 1963 book, Strength to Love.

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

  • From Strength to Love.

“We will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope.”

  • From his “I Have A Dream” speech.

“Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

  • From his April 1963 “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.”

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

  • From his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.”

“The beauty of genuine brotherhood and peace is more precious than diamonds or silver or gold.”

  • From his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech.

“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.”

  • From his 1964 Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech.

“Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love… violence ends up defeating itself. It creates bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers.”

  • From his December 1964 Nobel lecture.

“Ultimately a genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a moulder of consensus.”

  • From his November 1967 “The Domestic Impact of the War in Vietnam” speech.

“There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.”

  • From his February 1968 “A Proper Sense of Priorities” speech.

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