Law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and … when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress.
The sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality.
Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.
The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood.
There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love.
Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like any man, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people will get to the promised land. And I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.
We who in engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive.
He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it.
Often paraphrased as "One who condones evils is just as guilty as the one who perpetrates it."
A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on an installment plan.
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.
Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.