Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: 25 Most Inspirational Quotes

Published by Hristina Mladenovska on

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.‘s inspiring words remain as relevant today as they were when he spoke them. Here are 25 of his best Dr. Martin Luther King quotes. As we celebrate his legacy today, consider his messages of love, justice and equality. 


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

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

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

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

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

6. “Let no man pull you so low as to hate him.”

7. “Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness.”


8. “Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.”

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

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

11. “The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict.”

12. “Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.”

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

14. “Be a bush if you can’t be a tree. If you can’t be a highway, just be a trail. If you can’t be a sun, be a star. For it isn’t by size that you win or fail. Be the best of whatever you are.”

15. “We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now because I’ve been to the mountaintop… 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.”

16. “For when people get caught up with that which is right and they are willing to sacrifice for it, there is no stopping point short of victory.”

17. “True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.”


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

19. “Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.”

20. “All we say to America is, ‘Be true to what you said on paper.’ If I lived in China or even Russia, or any totalitarian country, maybe I could understand the denial of certain basic First Amendment privileges, because they hadn’t committed themselves to that over there. But somewhere I read of the freedom of assembly. Somewhere I read of the freedom of speech. Somewhere I read of the freedom of the press and somewhere I read that the greatness of America is the right to protest for right.”

21. “You can kill the dreamer, but you can’t kill the dream.”

22. “A right delayed is a right denied.”

23. “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”

24. “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.”

25. “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”

Categories: Gratitude


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