American culture has many important figures throughout history. Most of these iconic people produced many great bodies of work, but are most recognized for a single outstanding accomplishment.
An example of this is Maya Angelou’s “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” . Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., whose accomplishments we celebrate with a federal holiday is best remembered for the speech he gave during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963, That begin with “I have a dream … .”
His speech has been touted as one of the greatest pieces of oratory in American history. While much of his wisdom is highlighted in the “I Have a Dream” speech, King had many more edifying thoughts throughout his lifetime. We can take a moment and recognize Dr. King with the following:
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”– Letter from Birmingham City Jail, April 16, 1963
“We must come to see that the end we seek is a society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience. And that will be a day not of the white man, not of the black man. That will be the day of man as man.”– “How Long, Not Long” speech, March 25, 1965
“We must rapidly begin the shift from a ‘thing-oriented’ society to a ‘person-oriented’ society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.”– “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence” speech, April 4, 1967
“The nation is sick. Trouble is in the land; confusion all around. That’s a strange statement. But I know, somehow, that only when it is dark enough can you see the stars.”– “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech, April 3, 1968
“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. … I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality.”– Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech, Dec. 10, 1964
“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.”– from “Strength to Love,” published in 1963
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., can be remembered for these incredible quotes, as well as a man who was willing to give all of himself to make the world a better place.