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.

We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people.

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

Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon…which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals.

Why We Can't Wait

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.".

We are not makers of history. We are made by history.

Strength to Love (1963)

The soft-minded man always fears change. He feels security in the status quo, and he has an almost morbid fear of the new. For him, the greatest pain is the pain of a new idea.

A Tough Mind And A Tender Heart (Sermon)