You Know ‘I Have a Dream.’ Here are 10 MLK Quotes You May Not Know.

UPDATED: June 26, 2023
PUBLISHED: January 16, 2017

Editor’s note: In celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, we’ve pulled this collection of quotes from the archive.

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

They’re words we all instantly recognize as Martin Luther King, Jr.’s. And although he is most famously known for that speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Dr. King delivered countless others—each one filled with its own inspiring statements and notable quotes on leadership, motivation and hope.

This man stood up for justice, so now we’re standing up for him. As we observe Martin Luther King, Jr. Day today, we remember his legendary leadership with 10 of his most moving quotes:

1. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

2. “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”

3. “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

4. “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”

5. “A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.”

6. “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.”

7. “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

8. “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.”

9. “If a man has not discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.”

10. “We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.”


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