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10 Stunning Quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Today we honor the man, the leader, the legend — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. As a prominent figure in the civil rights movement, Dr. King used the gift of words rather than violence to preach the evils of segregation on the American frontier. Remembered for his memorable speeches, legendary interviews, and being a pioneering historical Black-figure, the impact of Dr. King's work lives on in all different ways.

In this day and age, when our country seems more divided than ever and you may ask yourself, “What is this all for ?” or “How can I aid in positive change ?.” Below, ten quotes from Dr. King shed light on these questions, and provide answers. These words remind me of all the beauty there can be on this Earth if you actively try to be an agent of change.

1. “One day we will learn that the heart can never be totally right when the head is totally wrong." - From King's book Strength to Love

2. "We will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope." From his "I Have A Dream" speech.

1963 March on Washington.

3. "Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education." - Written by King in the "The Purpose of Education," a 1947 article for Morehouse College's student newspaper

King and folk singer Joan Baez, escorting children to their newly integrated school in Grenada, Mississippi. (1966)

4. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”- From Strength to Love

A mural of Malcom X and King in London.

5. "True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice." - From his 1957 book Stride Toward Freedom

Police officers pushing King around in Montgomery, Alabama, as he is booked for loitering near a courtroom in 1958. King was trying to go into the hearing of a man who was accused of attacking one of King’s colleagues. Charles Moore/Getty Images

6. "The greatest irony and tragedy of all is that our nation, which initiated so much of the revolutionary spirit of the modern world, is now cast in the mold of being an arch anti-revolutionary." - From King'sThe Casualties of the War in Vietnam.”

American soldiers in Long Binh, Vietnam, observe King’s birthday on January 15, 1971, 15 years before it was first observed as a federal holiday.

7. "Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love...violence ends up defeating itself. It creates bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers." - From his December 1964 Nobel lecture.

"Martin Luther King leads the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, 21 March 1965." Photograph: AP

8. The beauty of genuine brotherhood and peace is more precious than diamonds or silver or gold." - From King's Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech.

King joins a group of Freedom Riders in May 1961. Freedom Riders participated in Freedom Rides; bus trips through the American South in 1961 to protest segregated bus terminals. Comprised of white and African American civil rights activists, they faced horrible police brutality and violence from white protestors along their routes.

9. "History will have to record the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people." - Stride Toward Freedom : The Montgomery Story

US President Lyndon B. Johnson talks with King and other civil rights leaders at the White House in January 1964. Six months later, on July 2, 1964, Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law. Yoichi Okamoto/LBJ Presidential Library

10. "We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope." -From the 2002 Coretta Scott King-edited book, In My Own Words.

On March 22, 1956, King receives a kiss from his wife, Coretta Scott King,after being released from a Montgomery jail.

Completely breathtaking quotes. Check out the New York Time's article : "Martin Luther King Jr. Day: 9 Ways to Honor His Legacy", on other great acts of service you can do today in respect to Dr. King 🖤

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