CASSIUS x MLK Day

Source: iOneDigital / creative services

A proponent of peaceful protest, Dr. King used his words to push for progress. We collected 39 of his most compelling quotes on the 50th anniversary of his assassination to celebrate his undying work.

1. “Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

2. “We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”

3. “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.”

4. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

5. “There are some things so dear, some things so precious, some things so eternally true, that they are worth dying for. And I submit to you that if a man has not discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.”

6. “When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that 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 in the words of the old Negro spiritual, ‘Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!’ ”

7. “I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.”

8. “We’ve been in the mountain of war. We’ve been in the mountain of violence. We’ve been in the mountain of hatred long enough. It is necessary to move on now, but only by moving out of this mountain can we move to the promised land of justice and brotherhood and the Kingdom of God. It all boils down to the fact that we must never allow ourselves to become satisfied with unattained goals. We must always maintain a kind of divine discontent.”

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

9. “When our days become dreary with low-hovering clouds of despair, and when our nights become darker than a thousand midnights, let us remember that there is a creative force in this universe, working to pull down the gigantic mountains of evil, a power that is able to make a way out of no way and transform dark yesterdays into bright tomorrows. Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.”

10. “We all have the drum major instinct. We all want to be important, to surpass others, to achieve distinction, to lead the parade. … And the great issue of life is to harness the drum major instinct. It is a good instinct if you don’t distort it and pervert it. Don’t give it up. Keep feeling the need for being important. Keep feeling the need for being first. But I want you to be the first in love. I want you to be the first in moral excellence. I want you to be the first in generosity.”

11. “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.”

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

13. “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.”

14. “Every step towards the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals. Without persistent effort, time itself becomes an ally of the insurgent and primitive forces of irrational emotionalism and social destruction.”

15. “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”

16. “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

17. “I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”

18. “We are not makers of history. We are made by history.”

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

19. “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.”

20. “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”

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

22. “Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.”

23. “There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love.”

24. “The quality, not the longevity, of one’s life is what is important.”

25. “Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.”

26. “The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.”

27. “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”

28. “If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.”

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

Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.

30. “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

31. “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

32. “Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be…This is the inter-related structure of reality.”

33. “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.”

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

35. “Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness.”

36. “History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.”

37. “Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.”

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

39. “The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict.”