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Martin Luther King
1/1929-4/1968 (Age at death: 39)

An American clergyman, activist and prominent leader in the African-American civil rights movement. His main legacy was to secure progress on civil rights in the United States and he is frequently referenced as a human rights icon today. A Baptist minister, King became a civil rights activist early in his career. He led the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957, serving as its first president. King's efforts led to the 1963 March on Washington, where King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech. There, he raised public consciousness of the civil rights movement and established himself as one of the greatest orators in U.S. history.

18 Quotation(s) Total:

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...We must honestly admit that capitalism has often left a gulf between superfluous wealth and abject poverty, has created conditions permitting necessities to be taken from the many to give luxuries to the few, and has encouraged small hearted men to become cold and conscienceless so that, like Dives before Lazarus, they are unmoved by suffering, poverty-stricken humanity. The profit motive, when it is the sole basis of an economic system, encou...
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Martin Luther King

1. Thou shalt not believe in a military victory.

2. Thou shall not believe in a political victory.

3. Thou shall not believe that they, the Vietnamese love us.

4. Thou shall not believe that the Saigon government has the support of the people.

5. Thou shall not believe that the majority of the South Vietnamese look upon the Vietcong as terrorists.

6. Thou shalt not believe the figures of killed enemies or killed Americans.

7. Thou...
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Martin Luther King

A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.
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Martin Luther King

Actually time itself is neutral... Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability. It comes through the tireless efforts of men, willing to be co-workers with God, and without this hard work time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation.

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Martin Luther King

All humanity is involved in a simple process, and all men are brothers. To the degree I harm my brother, no matter what he is doing to me, to that extent I am harming myself.
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Martin Luther King

All progress is precarious, and the solution of one problem brings us face to face with another problem.
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Martin Luther King

An unjust law is a code that a numerical or power majority group compels a minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself.
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Martin Luther King

”One of the great problems of history is that the concepts of love and power have usually been contrasted as opposites — polar opposites — so that love is identified with a resignation of power, and power with a denial of love. What is needed is a realization that power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic.
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Martin Luther King

Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, so must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood.
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Martin Luther King

More than ever before, my friends, men of all races and nations are today challenged to be neighborly... No longer can we afford the luxury of passing by on the other side. Such folly was once called moral failure; today it will lead to universal suicide...

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Martin Luther King

Not only will we have to repent for the sins of bad people; but we also will have to repent for the appalling silence of good people
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Martin Luther King

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
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Martin Luther King

Power properly understood is nothing but the ability to achieve purpose. It is the strength required to bring about social, political and economic change.
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Martin Luther King

The arc of history is long and it bends towards justice.

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Martin Luther King

The day we see truth and do not speak is the day we begin to die.
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Martin Luther King

There are two types of laws: just and unjust... An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law...

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Martin Luther King

We had won a partial victory in Albany, and a partial victory to us was not an end but a beginning.

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Martin Luther King

You are quite right in calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to... foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue.

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Martin Luther King

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