Hello there again, everyone! Although I break this promise every time, this time I will not rant about how long it’s been since I’ve done a post. Because today, we’re focusing on one of the greatest preachers and activists of our time (or some of your times, I wasn’t even close to being born yet in the 50s and 60s!): Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.! His courageous and inspiring story proves how just one person can make a difference. From working to desegregate schools and public locations to ensuring voting rights for all Americans, he truly does deserve a holiday of his own.
Today, I’m going to look over Dr. King’s six greatest quotes. Even though they were said sixty or seventy years ago, they still hold true today! Fun fact: He would have turned ninety-three this year.
But, first, before we get to the main topic of this post, I want to wish everyone a belated HAPPY NEW YEAR!
It’s no mystery that the past two years haven’t been the best, but 2022 WILL be fantastic! I just know it! And while 2020 and 2021 were difficult, there are always moments that we’ll look back on and remember some of the fun times. Aside from that, 2022, here we come!
One more thing before we get started: I’ve written two other MLK Day posts on Planet Whiz Kid before, and here are the links to them:
Okay, here we go!
6. “Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon, which cuts through wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals.”
This quotation perfectly sums up one of Dr. King’s most impressive strengths: empowering others and accomplishing goals through the use of nonviolent and peaceful means. As you’ll continue to see on this list, Martin Luther King Jr. uses metaphors and analogies that invoke a certain image to make a point. It’s a great line that can be used today as a reminder that peaceful protest is the more effective measure.
5. “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, “What are you doing for others?”
As decades have passed, this quotation may seem overdone and clichéd, but it seems powerful and meaningful coming from Martin Luther King Jr. I don’t mean to get existential here, but life is largely about helping others, not so it boosts your ego or public figure, but because you truly want to make life better for everyone. And that’s exactly what Dr. King did. He didn’t ever flaunt it; instead, he did the right thing: encouraging others to continue what he had done. Lifting up and aiding others during difficult times is something that has been part of his legacy.
4. “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.”
I did some research on MLK quotes earlier today, and this is the first time I’ve heard this saying. I love it! As I mentioned before, this is a line that uses metaphors, analogies, and images to convey a message. It’s a better-phrased version of “Never give up”, something that Dr. King held true his entire life. Truly inspiring.
And now, we move onto the top three!
3. The Final Words of “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” (1968): “And I’ve seen the promised land. I might not get there with you, but I want you to know the night that we as a people will get to the promised land. So, I’m happy tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!”
Although they were his last, these words from Dr. King were his most powerful. Proclaimed with a fiery passion, “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” was Martin Luther King Jr.’s final speech before his assassination. Ironically, he spoke of an untimely death, how he “might not get there [to the promised land]”, and how he wasn’t fearing anything. Still today, his words are as eerie as they are robust.
2. The Entire “I Have a Dream” Speech
This speech changed everything. Dr. King delivered these provocative and mighty comments at the March on Washington. This was such a big event that his remarks are sure to have changed many minds. It’s one of the most iconic speeches of the 20th century, and will live on forever as a sincere and heartfelt plea to America.
But coming in at number one is . . .
1. “Darkness Cannot Drive Out Darkness; Only Light Can Do That. Hate Cannot Drive Out Hate; Only Love Can Do That.”
This was an easy #1 pick for me. It’s such a great and true quote that is every bit as relevant today. Dr. King talked a lot about the power of love (not to be confused with the Huey Lewis song 😉), and how from hate will only come bad things. But this line describes and envisions it the best. In saying this, he takes a step back to capture the entire perspective and put it into a concise yet honest outlook that’s 100% true. While there’s so much to say about it, I think that the line says it all. So this is my favorite quotation from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Well, there’s another MLK Day post in the books! (Or the web.) Perhaps next year I’ll review his greatest allies, from his wife to Rosa Parks. But, don’t worry, I’ll be back before January 2023! Soon, I’ll write a post reviewing The Book of Boba Fett, and come late February or early March, I’ll be writing two massive ranking posts that I’ll review next time. Until then, if you’re looking for a film to watch in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, take a look at Selma, which details Dr. King’s life and, in particular, the Selma marches. It’s streaming for free on Peacock, or available for rent on Prime Video, Vudu/Fandango, etc. Until then, Happy MLK Day!
And while we continue to work for his dreams, we must remember to never let them die.
Kool K out