40 Inspiring Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes on Courage, Leadership and Equality

Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes

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


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


“We are not makers of history. We are made by history.”


“I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made straight and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.”

Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes

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


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


“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent.”


“When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism and militarism are incapable of being conquered.”

Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes

Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes on Forgiveness

“The words ‘I will forgive you, but I’ll never forget what you’ve done’ never explain the real nature of forgiveness.”


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


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

Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes

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


“Forgiveness is not an occasional act. It is a permanent attitude.”


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


“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent.”

Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes

Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes on Love

“The belief that God will do everything for man is as untenable as the belief that man can do everything for himself. It, too, is based on a lack of faith. We must learn what to expect God to do everything while we do nothing is not faith but superstition.”


“Every man of humane convictions must decide on the protest that best suits his convictions, but we must all protest.”


“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”


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

Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes

Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes on Equality

“A social movement that only moves people is merely a revolt. A movement that changes both people and institutions is a revolution.”


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


“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.”


“I came to the conclusion that there is an existential moment in your life when you must decide to speak for yourself; nobody else can speak for you.”

Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes

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


“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality…..I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”


“One of the great tragedies of life is that men seldom bridge the gulf between practice and profession, between doing and saying.”


“The problems of racial injustice and economic injustice cannot be solved without a radical redistribution of political and economic power.”

Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes

Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes on Leadership

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


“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.”


“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.”


“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.”

Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes

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


“All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”


“Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.”


“Nonviolence is an absolute commitment to the way of love. Love is not emotional bash; it is not empty sentimentalism. It is the active outpouring of one’s whole being into the being of another.”

Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes

“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”


“A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.”


“The past is prophetic in that it asserts loudly that wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows.”


“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.”

40 Inspiring Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes on Courage, Leadership and Equality
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