Martin Luther King Jr. Day (officially Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., and sometimes referred to as MLK Day) is a federal holiday in the States marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr.
King was the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law.
King experienced racism from an early age, and those events stayed with and eventually brought him to a life of activism. After graduating college with a doctorate degree in theology, King became a pastor in Alabama. He began a series of peaceful protests in the south that eventually changed many laws dealing with equality.
The Rev. Dr. King’s peaceful struggle against racial discrimination came to national attention in 1955, when he led a boycott protesting laws that required blacks and whites to sit in separate sections on buses. He was jailed and physically attacked, and his home was bombed, but in 1956 the Supreme Court declared such laws unconstitutional.
In 1963, King delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech before a quarter million people during the peaceful March on Washington, D.C. The next year he became the youngest man, at 35, to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. He continued fighting for civil rights and against poverty until an assassin’s bullet ended his life on April 4, 1968.
Below are quotes from Martin Luther King Jr. quotes that may lift your heart and spirit.
- “Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a constant attitude.”
- “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
- “All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”
- “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.”
- “There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe nor politic nor popular, but he must take it because his conscience tells him it is right.”
- “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”
- “If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.”
- “Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”
- “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.”
Martin Luther King Jr. inspired the human race to strive for harmony among all people. His tragic death shocked the nation, but his words and his dedication to equality continue to inspire younger generations.