Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr. in 1964, four years before he assassinated. The African American is revered not only in the United States but throughout the world for his brave campaigns against racial prejudiceWikimedia Commons

The day celebrates the life and achievements of Martin Luther King Jr, who is possibly one of the most recognised American Civil rights activist and leader. The African American is revered not only in the United States but throughout the world for his brave campaigns against racial prejudice in America. For 2015, the observance falls on 19 January. 

Born on 15 January 1929 in Atlanta, he went on to become one of the most acclaimed civil rights advocator.

The march in Washington in 1963, where he delivered his famous "I have a Dream" speech, became a focal point of his popularity and inspired generation of leaders and political thinkers from wide and far. The iconic leader, who also set his name in history to be the youngest man to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, was assassinated by James Earl Ray in Memphis, Tennessee, on 4 April, 1968.

His work and his resilience, coupled by his strong opinion about equality and brotherhood, however, continue to inspire many people across the globe even today.

We have rounded up 30 Best Quotes or Sayings attributed to the legendary leader, courtesy to websites such as Brainy Quote and Good Reads. The quotes will be followed by the video of his famous 'I have a dream' speech.

  1. I still have a dream, a dream deeply rooted in the American dream – one day this nation will rise up and live up to its creed, 'We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal.
  2. Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.
  3. 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.
  4. Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
  5. 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.
  6. We are not makers of history, we are made by history.
  7. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
  8. Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
  9. I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.
  10. A man who won't die for something is not fit to live.
  11. Only in the darkness can you see the stars.
  12. A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.
  13. The day we see the truth and cease to speak is the day we begin to die.
  14. As my sufferings mounted, I soon realize that there were two ways in which I could respond to my situation – either to react with bitterness or to seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course.
  15. Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy to a friend.
  16. The time is always right to do the right thing.
  17. No one really knows why they are alive until they know what they'd die for.
  18. We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools.
  19. There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love.
  20. Wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows
  21. The choice is not between violence and nonviolence but between nonviolence and nonexistence.
  22. Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.
  23. On some positions, Cowardice asks the question, 'Is it safe?' Expediency asks the question, 'Is it politic?' And Vanity comes along and asks the question, 'Is it popular?' But Conscience asks the question 'Is it right?' And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right.
  24. Not only will we have to repent for the sins of bad people; but we also will have to repent for the appalling silence of good people.
  25. We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.
  26. If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say 'Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.'
  27. Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge, which is power; religion gives man wisdom, which is control. Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals.
  28. Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.
  29. An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.
  30. Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.

'I Have A Dream' Speech

Visit the American Rhetoric Website to read the full transcript of the famous speech. Watch the video below: