MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.| Quotable


“It seems to me that education has a twofold function to perform in the life of man and in society: The one is utility and the other is culture. Education must enable a man to become more efficient, to achieve with increasing facility the legitimate goals of his life. Education must also train one for quick, resolute and effective thinking. To think incisively and to think for one’s self [OK, not oneself] is very difficult. We are prone to let our mental life become invaded by legions of half-truths, prejudices and propaganda.” – excerpt from “The Purpose of Education,” written by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the February 1947 edition of the Morehouse College student newspaper

“When Rip Van Winkle looked up at the picture of George Washington, he was completely lost. He knew not who he was. While he was peacefully snoring up in the mountain, a revolution was taking place that at points would change the course of history – and Rip knew nothing about it. And one of the great liabilities of life is that all too many people find themselves living amid a great period of social change, and yet they fail to develop the new attitudes, the new mental responses that the situation demands. They end up sleeping through a revolution.” – King’s “Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution” speech, March 31, 1968, in Washington, D.C.

“Now, the first thing that we must do [to be free] is to develop within ourselves a sense of somebodiness. Don’t let anybody make you feel that you are nobody. Because the minute one feels that way, he is incapable of rising to his maturity as a person. You know a lot of people have segregated minds, and one of the first things the Negro must do is to desegregate his mind.” – April 26, 1967, speech at Glenville High School in Cleveland

“Now let me say as I move to my conclusion that we’ve got to give ourselves to this struggle to the end. Nothing would be more tragic than to stop at this point in Memphis. We’ve got to see it through. And when we have our march, you need to be there. If it means leaving work, if it means leaving school, be there. Be concerned about your brother. You may not be on strike, but either we go up together, or we go down together.” – “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech, April 3, 1968, in Memphis, Tenn., in support of the city’s 1,300 striking sanitation workers

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