x
Breaking News
More () »

Famous Martin Luther King, Jr. quotes

Here are some of the most memorable words spoken by the Civil Rights icon.

ATLANTA — Words are powerful, and the words of one man propelled the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960's. 

RELATED: The story behind Martin Luther King Jr.'s first major boycott

To commemorate the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday, here are some of the most famous and powerful messages delivered by Dr. King:

"Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope." 

Dr. King delivered this line during his "I Have a Dream" speech in Washington, D.C. on Aug. 28, 1863. It now appears is one of the most prominently featured quotes on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington.

"True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice."

From MLK's memoir on the Montgomery bus boycotts, "Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story," published in 1958. It also appears on the MLK Memorial in Washington.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

Dr. King wrote these words in his foundational "Letter from Birmingham Jail" written in 1963.

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that."

This appears in a volume of some of his most influential sermons, published in 1963, called "Strength to Love."

"The time is always right to do right."

This comes from the 1965 commencement address Dr. King delivered at Oberlin College in Ohio. The address was entitled, "Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution."

"We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools."

Dr. King spoke these words during a 1964 speech in St. Louis.

"If a man hasn't discovered something he will die for, he isn't fit to live."

Delivered during an address at the 1963 Great March on Detroit, considered a prelude to the "I Have a Dream" speech later that year.

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

Spoken during an address in Atlanta for the 1967 Southern Christian Leadership Conference. The title of the address was, "Where Do We Go From Here?"

"Peace is more precious than diamonds or silver or gold."

This line was included in Dr. King's acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.

"Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a permanent attitude."

From the sermon "Love in Action," believed to be first written by King sometime in 1962 or 1963.