Author: Martin Luther King Jr.

Brief Info: American Christian minister and activist

Years Lived: 1929-1968

More Info: <link>

Quotations


Unarmed Truth and Unconditional Love

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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.

From the speech Civil Rights March on Washington, August 28

— 1963


You have your position because of the events of history

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No matter where you stand, no matter how much popularity you have, no matter how much education you have, no matter how much money you have, you have it because somebody in this universe helped you to get it. And when you see that, you can't be arrogant, you can't be supercilious. You discover that you have your position because of the events of history and because of individuals in the background making it possible for you to stand there.

From the sermon Conquering Self-centeredness

— 1957


Intelligent guides of family planning

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For the Negro, therefore, intelligent guides of family planning are a profoundly important ingredient in his quest for security and a decent life. There are mountainous obstacles still separating Negroes from a normal existence. Yet one element in stabilizing his life would be an understanding of and easy access to the means to develop a family related in size to his community environment and to the income potential he can command. This is not to suggest that the Negro will solve all his problems through Planned Parenthood. His problems are far more complex, encompassing economic security, education, freedom from discrimination, decent housing and access to culture. Yet if family planning is sensible it can facilitate or at least not be an obstacle to the solution of the many profound problems that plague him.

From the speech Family Planning - A Special and Urgent Concern

— 1966


Single Garment of Destiny

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We are tied together in the single garment of destiny, caught in an inescapable network of mutuality. And whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.

From the speech Remaining Awake Through A Great Revolution

— 1968


Peaceful ends through peaceful means

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One day, we must come to see that peace is not merely a distant goal we seek, but that it is a means by which we arrive at that goal. We must pursue peaceful ends through peaceful means.

From the speech Riverside Church Speech

— April 1967


Intelligence plus Character

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We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.

From the article The Maroon Tiger

— 1947


To save man from the morass of propaganda

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Education must also train one for quick, resolute and effective thinking. To think incisively and to think for one's self is very difficult. We are prone to let our mental life become invaded by legions of half truths, prejudices, and propaganda. At this point, I often wonder whether or not education is fulfilling its purpose. A great majority of the so-called educated people do not think logically and scientifically. Even the press, the classroom, the platform, and the pulpit in many instances do not give us objective and unbiased truths. To save man from the morass of propaganda, in my opinion, is one of the chief aims of education. Education must enable one to sift and weigh evidence, to discern the true from the false, the real from the unreal, and the facts from the fiction.

From the article The Maroon Tiger

— 1947


Creatively Maladjusted

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There is a need now more than ever before for men and women in our nation to be creatively maladjusted. And I say to you that I choose to be among the maladjusted.

From the speech The Three Evils

— Aug 31, 1967


An edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring

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True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It understands that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.

From the speech The Three Evils

— Aug 31, 1967


Guided missiles and misguided men

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When scientific power outruns moral power, we end up with guided missiles and misguided men. When we foolishly maximize the minimum and minimize the maximum, we sign the warrant for our own day of doom. It is this moral lag in our thing-oriented society that blinds us to the human reality around us and encourages us in the greed and the exploitation which creates the sector of poverty in the midst of wealth.

From the speech The Three Evils

— Aug 31, 1967


When machines are considered more important than people

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When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, economic exploitation, and militarism are incapable of being conquered. A civilization can flounder as readily in the face of moral bankruptcy as it can through financial bankruptcy.

From the speech The Three Evils

— Aug 31, 1967


An ordinary person, doing an ordinary job

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I don't want you to forget it. No matter where you are today, somebody helped you to get there. (Yes) It may have been an ordinary person, doing an ordinary job in an extraordinary way. Some few are able to get some education; you didn't get it by yourself. Don't forget those who helped you come over.

From the sermon Why Jesus Called a Man A Fool

— 1967


The Arc of History

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The arc of history is long, but it bends towards justice.

From the unknown unknown


Ends for which We Live

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The means by which we live have outdistanced the ends for which we live.

From the unknown unknown


Ten thousand fools proclaim themselves

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Ten thousand fools proclaim themselves into obscurity, while one wise man forgets himself into immortality.

From the unknown unknown

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