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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Most Inspiring Motivational Quotes

Updated: Jan 14

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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. dreamed of a world free of hate, prejudice, and violence. He spent most of his life in service to others and in pursuit of justice, equity, and equality for all.


There are numerous children's books about Dr. King that teach little readers about Dr. King's legacy. Those picture books also serve as a reminder of ways that we can continue and honor Dr. King's legacy.


Dr. King gave many speeches and interviews to spread his message and to educate the masses. Because of those speeches and interviews, we're left with inspirational quotes that can guide us in our efforts to continue his legacy.


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Most Inspiring Motivational Quotes


1. "Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'"

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

3. "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."

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4. "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.

5. "Intelligence plus character, that is the goal of true education."

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

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"If we are to have peace on earth, our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective."

7. "The moral arc of the universe bends at the elbow of justice."

8. "Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love."

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

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

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

12. "...a riot is the language of the unheard."

13. "Forgiveness is not an occasional act. It is a permanent attitude."

14. In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.

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

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16. "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly."

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

18. "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."


How will you celebrate Dr. King's legacy?


Take a peek at some of the children's books that celebrate Dr. King's life. We've created a list of 10 Meaningful Ways Children Can Honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr's Legacy. Share this post to help others discover how they can help to realize Dr. King's dream.

Civil rights leader Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. relaxes at home with his wife Coretta and first child Yolanda in May 1956 in Montgomery, Alabama.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. relaxes at home with his wife Coretta and first child Yolanda in May 1956 in Montgomery, Alabama. (Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images)



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