Privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily.
God is not interested merely in the freedom of black men, and brown men, and yellow men; God is interested in the freedom of the whole human race.
We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools.
Man is not made for the state; the state is made for man. To deprive man of freedom is to relegate him to the status of a thing, rather than elevate him to the status of a person. Man must never be treated as a means to the end of the state, but always as an end within himself.
I should have been reminded that disappointment produces despair and despair produces bitterness, and that the one thing certain about bitterness is its blindness. Bitterness.
Seeing is not always believing.
When I speak of love, I am speaking of that force which all the great religions have seen as the supreme unifying principle of life.
This will be the day when we bring into full realization the American dream – a dream yet unfulfilled.
History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.
The limitation of riots, moral questions aside, is that they cannot win and their participants know it. Hence, rioting is not revolutionary but reactionary because it invites defeat. It involves an emotional catharsis, but it must be followed by a sense of futility.
The end of life is not to be happy, nor to achieve pleasure and avoid pain, but to do the will of God, come what may.
Nothing worthwhile is gained without sacrifice.
It is precisely this collision of immoral power with powerless morality which constitutes the major crisis of our times.
We must come to see that peace is not merely a distant goal we seek, but it is a means by which we arrive at that goal. We must pursue peaceful ends through peaceful means.
We have guided missiles and misguided men.
We have flown the air like birds and swum the sea like fishes, but have yet to learn the simple act of walking the earth like brothers.
It is incontestable and deplorable that Negroes have committed crimes; but they are derivative crimes. They are born of the greater crimes of the white society.
We must substitute courage for caution.
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.
I submit that an individual who breaks the law that conscience tells him is unjust and willingly accepts the penalty by staying in jail to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the very highest respect for law.
In the struggle for human rights and justice, Negros will make a mistake if they become bitter and indulge in hate campaigns.