Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King and his wife, Coretta King.  Photo, courtesy The King Center.

5 Quotes to Honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of the greatest leaders in world history. Dr. King led a nonviolent movement in the late 1950’s-60’s to achieve legal equality and economic justice for African Americans in the United States.  He  is the only non-president to have a national holiday dedicated in his honor, and is the only non-president memorialized on the Great Mall in the nation’s capitol. In 1964, at 35 years old, Martin Luther King, Jr. became the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize (see Dr. King’s original notes for his renowned Nobel Prize acceptance speech HERE).

On April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther king, Jr. was assassinated.

Legislation for a Holiday honoring Dr. King was first introduced four days after Dr. King’s assassination, then signed into law in 1983.

Today, we honor his legacy and memory. Here are 5 quotes by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on racism, social change, and nonviolence:

  1. “Racism is a philosophy based on a contempt for life…It separates not only bodies, but minds and spirits. Inevitably, it descends to inflicting spiritual and physical homicide upon the out-group.” 
  2. “Ultimately a great nation is a compassionate nation. No individual or nation can be great if it does not have a concern for ‘the least of these.’” 
  3. “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense [rather] than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.” 
  4. “It is the arrogant assertion that one race is the center of value and object of devotion, before which other races must kneel in submission.” 
  5. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”

Image and quotes, courtesy of The King Center.org. (accessed January 17, 2016).  http://www.thekingcenter.org/about-dr-king

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The King Library and Archives in Atlanta is the largest repository of primary source materials on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the American Civil Rights Movement in the world. Significant records which document the social, cultural, economic and political impact of the civil rights movement are housed at the King Library and Archives, and are available online. See more at: http://www.thekingcenter.org/