Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Quotations


The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral,
begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy.
Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.
Through violence you may murder the liar,
but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth.
Through violence you may murder the hater,
but you do not murder hate.
In fact, violence merely increases hate.
So it goes.
Returning violence for violence multiplies violence,
adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness:
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


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

Dr.Martin Luther King Jr.


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 it is right.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Nonviolence is the answer
to the crucial political and moral questions of our time:
the need for man to overcome oppression and violence
without resorting to oppression and violence.
Man must evolve for all human conflict
a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation.
The foundation of such a method is love.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech,
Stockholm, Sweden, December 11, 1964


A nation that continues year after year
to spend more money on military defense
than on programs of social uplift
is approaching spiritual death.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?, 1967


Man was born into barbarism
when killing his fellow man
was a normal condition of existence.
He became endowed with a conscience.
And he has now reached the day
when violence toward another human being
must become as abhorrent as eating another's flesh.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Why We Can't Wait, 1963


Somehow this madness must cease.
We must stop now.
I speak as a child of God and brother
to the suffering poor of Vietnam.
I speak for those whose land is being laid waste,
whose homes are being destroyed,
whose culture is being subverted.
I speak for the poor in America
who are paying the double price
of smashed hopes at home
and death and corruption in Vietnam.
I speak as a citizen of the world,
for the world as it stands aghast
at the path we have taken.
I speak as an American
to the leaders of my own nation.
The great initiative in this war is ours.
The initiative to stop it must be ours.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Trumpet of Conscience, 1967


Darkness cannot drive out darkness;
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate;
only love can do that.
Hate multiplies hate,
violence multiplies violence,
and toughness multiplies toughness
in a descending spiral of destruction....
The chain reaction of evil --
hate begetting hate,
wars producing more wars --
must be broken,
or we shall be plunged
into the dark abyss of annihilation.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Strength To Love, 1963


Like anybody, I would like to live a long life.
Longevity has its place.
But I'm not concerned about that now.
I just want to do God's will.
And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain.
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.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
I've Been To The Mountaintop, April 3, 1968




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