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  • Writer's pictureJace Shoemaker-Galloway

Martin Luther King Jr. Day: Inspirational MLK Quotes and Sayings

The third Monday in January celebrates the life and legacy of one of America's most influential and inspirational figures in the civil rights' movement. It's Martin Luther Jr. King Day.

Martin Luther King was born in Atlanta on Jan. 15, 1929. As a young boy, he attended segregated public schools in Georgia and graduated from high school at the age of 15. In 1948, he received his B.A. degree from Morehouse College and in 1955, he received his Ph.D from Boston University. King eventually met and married Coretta Scott and the couple had four children, two boys and two girls. Dr. King went on to became the youngest man to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

On April 4, 1968, King was shot and killed as he stood on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. King was there to lead a protest march in support of striking sanitation workers. James Earl Ray was convicted for the assassination and died in prison in 1998.

This charismatic and important civil rights' leader inspired many with his actions and his words. While he is famous for his "I Have a Dream" speech, the following quotes and sayings are also attributed to Martin Luther King, Jr.

Inspirational MLK Quotes & Sayings

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

  • "Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude."

  • "Hate destroys the hater..."

  • "It does not matter how long you live, but how well you do it."

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

  • "Only in the darkness can you see the stars."

  • "A man who won't die for something is not fit to live."

  • "The day we see the truth and cease to speak is the day we begin to die"

  • "There comes a time when silence is betrayal."

  • "In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."

  • "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."

  • "There is no gain without struggle."

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

  • "Lightning makes no sound until it strikes."

  • "We may have all come on different ships, but we're in the same boat now."

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

  • "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."

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

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


Nobel Prize. Martin Luther King, Jr. Bio.

InfoPlease. Martin Luther King, Jr. Bio.

Good Reads. Martin Luther King Jr., Quotes

InfoPlease. Martin Luther King Jr., Quotations


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