One of the most influential faces of the American Civil Rights Movement, Martin Luther King Jr, is someone most, if not all, Americans know and look to for inspiration and motivation in our current efforts in activism. His nonviolent protests and peaceful yet insistent demeanor were harbingers for changes the country so desperately needed. His efforts can serve as a foundation upon which present-day efforts to fight for a change of the same magnitude are built. Keep reading to revive worn spirits and exemplify what it means to maintain optimism in times of strife.
7 Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes on Peace
- “We must come to see that at the end we seek is a society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience,” – delivered on March 25, 1965, in Montgomery, AL.
- “It is no longer a choice, my friends, between violence and nonviolence. It is either nonviolence or nonexistence.” – Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution, March 31, 1968.
- “Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time; the need for mankind to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. Mankind must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love,”- during his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance address on December 10, 1964, in Oslo, Norway.
- “Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.” – Where Do We Go From Here? Annual Report delivered at the 11th Convention of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference on August 19, 1967, in Atlanta, GA.
- “Nonviolence is absolute commitment to the way of love. Love is not an emotional bash; it is not empty sentimentalism. It is the active outpouring of one’s whole being into the being of another.” – 1957
- “We must find new ways to speak for peace… for justice throughout the developing world, a world that borders on our doors. If we do not act, we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark, and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight.” – Conscience and the Vietnam War, The Trumpet of Conscience, 1968
- “World peace through nonviolent means is neither absurd nor unattainable. All other methods have failed. Thus we must begin anew… Those of us who believe in this method can be voices of reason, sanity, and understanding amid the voices of violence, hatred and emotion. We can very well set a mood of peace out of which a system of peace can be built.” – Dreams of Brighter Tomorrows in Ebony Magazine, March 1965.
– Jessica Ball