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A Selection of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s Most Powerful Quotes

Picture of the monument dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. continues to inspire and lead us onward with his words. As we celebrate MLK Jr.’s legacy today, take some time to read these. Consider looking up the full speeches for these quotes to experience the full impact of the quotes in context. Most of these are posted on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, DC and on the National Park Service (NPS) website. 

15 MLK Quotes That Continue To Challenge and Inspire Us

“Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope.”

(“I Have A Dream” speech Washington, DC 1963.)

“We shall overcome because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

(Washington National Cathedral -1968)

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

(Strength to Love, 1963)

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

(Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech – Oslo, Norway, 1964)

“Make a career of humanity. Commit yourself to the noble struggle for equal rights. You will make a better person of yourself, a greater nation of your country, and a finer world to live in.”

(March for Integrated Schools -1959.)

“I oppose the war in Vietnam because I love America. I speak out against it not in anger but with anxiety and sorrow in my heart, and above all with a passionate desire to see our beloved country stand as a moral example of the world.”

(Anti-War Conference, Los Angeles, 1967)

“If we are to have peace on earth, our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective.”

(Christmas sermon, Atlanta, 1967)

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

(Letter from Birmingham, Alabama jail 1963)

“I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality, and freedom for their spirits.”

(Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech – Oslo, Norway, 1964)

“It is not enough to say ‘We must not wage war.’ It is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it. We must concentrate not merely on the negative expulsion of war, but the positive affirmation of peace.”

(Anti-War Conference, Los Angeles, 1967)

“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.”

(Strength to Love, 1963)

“Every nation must now develop an overriding loyalty to mankind as a whole in order to preserve the best in their individual societies.”

(New York City, April 1967)

“We are determined here in Montgomery to work and fight until justice runs ‘down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream.'”

(Montgomery, Alabama, 1955. Quoting the Book of Amos)

“We must come to see that the end we seek is a society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience.”

(Montgomery, Alabama, 1965)

“True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.”

(Stride Toward Freedom, 1958)


Living His Legacy – Panther’s Own Story

The Panther Group’s own legacy and foundation is founded on equity and opportunity.  Our values are very much aligned with his vision of equality and we are very proud of our own heritage. Our founder, the late Kelvin E Bernard, faced his own challenges and overcame them to build one of the largest minority-owned businesses in New England. We owe so much to his vision, passion, dedication, and hard work. You can read more about his story as reported by the Boston Business Journal here.

We continue to live by the values we were founded on.  Our current leadership team is dedicated to our founded core values and extending that goodwill to our partners. If you’re looking for a job or looking for employees, you can be confident in Panther’s commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.

Here are a few resources we’d like to provide to you on your career journey or as you manage your teams:

Culture Guide: A Resource for Teams Looking to  Build a Culture that Promotes and Celebrates Diversity.

Diversity Recruitment Toolkit: Meant to Provide You With Several Resources to Build The Best Team Possible

Our Career Blog: With Career Resources, Job Search Tips and Personal Development Advice.

Management Blog: With leadership guides, management advice, and workforce solutions aides.

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