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Martin Luther King Jr. Day is on January 16th this year. In honor of Dr. King’s work and dreams, we’ve put together a compilation of Martin Luther King Jr. quotes, poems and more. Keep scrolling for more.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will always be regarded as one of the most important men of modern times in North America. Nearly fifty years after his assassination, King still manages to inspire everything from song lyrics to even comic books. He seemed to carry a weight and wisdom beyond his years. But when you boil it right down, he just wanted everyone to be equal and free. White, Black, Hispanic, it didn’t matter to him, he just wanted everyone to be given the same chance, the same opportunities and the same freedoms as everyone else had. In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2017, we present to you a selection of Martin Luther King Jr. quotes and poems to help inspire you and to help you remember the legacy of a man whose vision should be regarded by all.

Quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“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.”

“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent.”

“He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”

“Everybody can be great … because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

“It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that’s pretty important.”

“Violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral. I am not unmindful of the fact that violence often brings about momentary results. Nations have frequently won their independence in battle. But in spite of temporary victories, violence never brings permanent peace.”

“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.”

“Pity may represent little more than the impersonal concern which prompts the mailing of a check, but true sympathy is the personal concern which demands the giving of one’s soul.”

“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.”

“I just want to do God’s will. And he’s allowed me to go 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.”


A Dream Can Come True

Martin Luther King had a dream

For people everywhere.

He wanted them to get along

And show how much they care

By helping one another

And by always being fair.

So remember Martin Luther King

And help his dream come true

By always treating others

As you’d want them to treat you.


Martin Luther King Day

The dream

of Martin Luther King

will happen

in some far-off Spring

when winter ice

and snow are gone.

One day, the dreamer

in gray dawn

will waken

to a blinding night

where hawk and dove

in silent flight

brush wings together

on a street

still thundering

with ghostly feet

And soul will dance

and soul will sing

and march with

Martin Luther King.

-Myra Cohn Livingston

Martin Luther King Had a Dream

Martin Luther King had a dream,

Yes, he did.

Martin Luther King had a dream,

Indeed, he did.

He dreamed we’d live as brothers

Having love for one another,

And his dream is still alive through you and me.

-Susan Paprocki

Final Thoughts

We hope these MLK Day Poems and MLK Day quotes serve as inspiration and reminder of the battles of a man who refused to take up violence against those who would oppress him, and instead use intelligence, non-violence and the weapon of language to achieve his goals. He did not live to see his dreams fulfilled and many of his wishes still go unfinished, but he did bring about change for the better and his crusade has carried on to this day. Happy MLK Day 2017.