Civil Rights

More than Just a Dreamer

Today is Martin Luther King Jr Day; a day our nation chose to honor a man of immeasurable character, who fought and died for a more just and equal nation. A day that took 15 years after his assassination to be signed into law in 1983, a day that took three years after that to be first observed, and a day that took a full 14 years after that, in the year 2000, before it was officially observed in all 50 states of our nation.


We have all heard King’s most famous “I Have a Dream Speech.” We have heard many twist King’s words to further the claim that current civil rights movements are too violent, claiming King wouldn’t have wanted it that way. We have heard that he fought for peace, which is true, but his words have been used to silence current movements, and that certainly is not what Dr King would have wanted.  We are highlighting notable quotes from a few of his other speeches today to honor this man and his legacy. Remember them and recognize that we've got to see that a riot is the language of the unheard.” 60 Minutes Interview, 1966


“Freedom is never given to anybody, for the oppressor has you in domination because he plans to keep you there, and he never voluntarily gives it up. And that is where the strong resistance comes—privileged classes never give up their privileges without strong resistance.”

The Birth of a New Nation, 1957


"True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice."

Strive Toward Freedom, 1958


"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, 1963


"Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection."

Letter from Birmingham, 1963


"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


“All we say to America is, ‘Be true to what you said on paper.’ If I lived in China or even Russia, or any totalitarian country, maybe I could understand the denial of certain basic First Amendment privileges, because they hadn't committed themselves to that over there. But somewhere I read of the freedom of assembly. Somewhere I read of the freedom of speech. Somewhere I read of the freedom of the press. Somewhere I read that the greatness of America is the right to protest for right.”

I’ve Been to the Mountain Top, 1968