A man dies when he refuses to stand up for that which is right. A man dies when he refuses to stand up for justice. A man dies when he refuses to take a stand for that which is true.

Speech on pulpit, Selma, AL, March 8, 1965. Often condensed into "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.".

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More from Martin Luther King Jr.

Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.

Letter from a Birmingham Jail, 16 April 1963

Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

Loving Your Enemies (1957 speech) and included in King's book Strength to Love (1963)

Philanthropy is commendable, but it must not cause the philanthropist to overlook the circumstances of economic injustice which make philanthropy necessary.

Strength to Love (1963)

This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action.

Stride Toward Freedom the Montgomery Story - Chapter XI Where Do We Go From Here

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.

Strength to Love (1963)