The quality, not the longevity, of one’s life is what is important. If you are cut down in a movement that is designed to save the soul of a nation, then no other death could be more redemptive.

Spoken at Ebenezer Baptist Church the month before his death, and recalled at Dr. King's funeral.

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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

A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on an installment plan.

Strength to Love (1963)

We will speed the 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 … “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God Almighty, I’m free at last.”

The question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be.

'Letter from Birmingham Jail' in Why We Can't Wait 1963.

Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

Strength to Love pt. 4 ch. 3 (1963)