APU celebrates MLK Day by cancelling classes and looking back on some of Dr. King’s most inspirational quotes

On Aug. 28, 1963,  Martin Luther King Jr., Ph.D.,  gave one the most memorable speeches in modern history, in which he dreamt of an end to racism.

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character,” King said in his 1963 speech, which became the forefront of his legacy.

Photo by Jerónimo Bernot on Unsplash

In addition to these powerful statements, King also said some important things about the church’s role in standing up against injustice. Associate professor from Seattle Pacific University, Brenda Salter McNeil, Ph.D., highlighted a few of King’s most momentous quotes during chapel last Friday.

“He wasn’t just Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” McNeil said during chapel. “He was Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”

In celebration of MLK Day, enjoy 10 hand-picked inspirational quotes by King:

  1. “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 
  2. “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, 1964
  3. “The Philosophy of Christianity is strongly opposed to the underlying philosophy of segregation. Therefore, every Christian is confronted with the basic responsibility of working courageously for a non-segregated society. The task of conquering segregation is an inescapable must confronting the Christian Churches.” –The Role of the Church in Facing the Nation’s Chief Moral Dilemma, 1957
  4. “Don’t be afraid to defend the Church where necessary. Certainly the Church is not perfect. It has often stood in the way of social and scientific progress and as I will show in a few minutes I am often ashamed of the Church, but in spite of its errors I would hate to see what the world would be like without it.” –Propagandizing Christianity, 1954
  5. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” –Strength to Love, 1963
  6. “I’d like somebody to mention that day that Martin Luther King Jr. tried to give his life serving others… And I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity…all of the other shallow things will not matter. I won’t have any money to leave behind. I won’t have the fine and luxurious things of life to leave behind. But I just want to leave a committed life behind.”
  7. “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.”
  8. “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
  9. “The tensions are not between the races, but between the forces of justice and injustice; between the forces of light and darkness.”
  10. “True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice.”