Memorable Quotes From Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. brought about change through non-violent protest and powerful speeches that echo through the years. Below, famous excerpts from some of the civil rights leader's memorable speeches and other well-known quotes.

"We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we’ve come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice."

-From "I Have a Dream" speech, 1963

"Now is the time to rise from the desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood."

-From "I Have a Dream" speech, 1963

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

-Letter from Birmingham Jail, 1963

"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."

-From "I Have a Dream" speech, 1963

"Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter."

-From "The Drum Major Instinct" sermon, 1968

"Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force."

-From "I Have a Dream" speech, 1963

"...there are some things so dear, some things so precious, some things so eternally true, that they are worth dying for. And I submit to you that if a man has not discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live."

-Speech in Detroit, 1963

"I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant."

-Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, 1964

Contact Us