Celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day! – JANUARY 20, 2014

Dear friends of Justice (for all) + Freedom (from abuses & inequality) ~

It is time to slow down and reflect on the man, the civil rights movement he led, and the meaning of Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968). King’s Christian beliefs led him to be our country’s strongest catalyst to achieve civil rights for all using nonviolent civil disobedience (inspired by Ghandi), more than 100 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, that led to a “2nd Emancipation” of sorts with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  

Personally, I have always related to King’s life not only because I was born on January 16, 1968 (believe me, I know I’m not even an ounce of who King was), but because I admired so much of what he stood for in the ideal of fighting for justice, having such a maturity as a young man in his 20’s & 30’s, in collaborating as he did with such a diverse group of people and standing up so strongly and humbly through the many nonviolent civil disobedience acts.  

He wasn’t perfect by no means, he was just a man. However, obviously, he was the perfect person to come along in our (recent) country’s history to lead and inspire us as he did for mass social change from injustice to a more “equality + freedom” type of society. We are still inspired today! So let’s celebrate his life, what he meant and what we continue to aspire to become – to fight for justice and freedom for all.

All the best,  

Alex Sum | Human Rights Society

More on MLK, Jr.: The King Center | Nobel Peace Prize | Letter from a Birmingham Jail | Stanford University on MLK, Jr. | MLK, Jr. in The Seattle Times | Wikipedia


TOP 10 Martin Luther King, Jr. Quotes  

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”  ~ Martin Luther King Jr., A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches  

“Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase.”  “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”  Letter from Birmingham Jail (4/16/63)

“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. The true neighbor will risk his position, his prestige, and even his life for the welfare of others.”  ~ MLK, Jr.’s book Strength to Love (1963)

“There are some things so dear, some things so precious, some things so eternally true, that they are worth dying for. And I submit to you that if a man has not discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.”  ~ Speech in Detroit on (6/23/63)

“We’ve been in the mountain of war. We’ve been in the mountain of violence. We’ve been in the mountain of hatred long enough. It is necessary to move on now, but only by moving out of this mountain can we move to the promised land of justice and brotherhood and the Kingdom of God. It all boils down to the fact that we must never allow ourselves to become satisfied with unattained goals. We must always maintain a kind of divine discontent.” ~ Sermon at Temple Israel of Hollywood (June 1965)

“When our days become dreary with low-hovering clouds of despair, and when our nights become darker than a thousand midnights, let us remember that there is a creative force in this universe, working to pull down the gigantic mountains of evil, a power that is able to make a way out of no way and transform dark yesterdays into bright tomorrows. Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.”  ~ Address to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (8/16/67)

“We are not wrong, we are not wrong in what we are doing. If we are wrong, the Supreme Court of this nation is wrong. If we are wrong, the Constitution of the United States is wrong. And if we are wrong, God Almighty is wrong. If we are wrong, Jesus of Nazareth was merely a utopian dreamer that never came down to Earth. If we are wrong, justice is a lie, love has no meaning. And we are determined here in Montgomery to work and fight until justice runs down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream.”  ~ Address at Holt Street Baptist Church, Montgomery, Alabama (1955)

“We all have the drum major instinct. We all want to be important, to surpass others, to achieve distinction, to lead the parade. … And the great issue of life is to harness the drum major instinct. It is a good instinct if you don’t distort it and pervert it. Don’t give it up. Keep feeling the need for being important. Keep feeling the need for being first. But I want you to be the first in love. I want you to be the first in moral excellence. I want you to be the first in generosity.”  ~ Sermon at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta on (2/2/68)

“Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like any man, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people will get to the promised land. And 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.”  ~ Speech at Bishop Charles Mason Temple in Memphis, Tennessee (4/3/68)


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