Martin Luther King, Jr. was a great preacher, orator and writer. He knew the power of words to challenge and inspire individuals and society. Words lead to actions, and in King’s case, words provided a pathway to racial reconciliation and the cornerstones for building a more just American society.
These familiar quotes are as relevant today as they were when King first said them. While we chose these ten, there were hundreds of others equally compelling. We encourage readers to add their own MLK quotes below.
From every mountainside, let freedom ring. When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!I Have a Dream, 1963.
Somehow this madness must cease. We must stop now. I speak as a child of God and brother to the suffering poor of Vietnam. I speak for those whose land is being laid waste, whose homes are being destroyed, whose culture is being subverted. I speak for the poor in America who are paying the double price of smashed hopes at home and death and corruption in Vietnam. I speak as a citizen of the world, for the world as it stands aghast at the path we have taken. I speak as an American to the leaders of my own nation. The great initiative in this war is ours. The initiative to stop it must be ours.The Trumpet of Conscience, 1967.