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“Lost” Quotes From King’s Speeches—Words Of Inspiration

January 20, 2014



Why Did These Quotes From King’s Speeches Get Lost


On Martin Luther King Day, it is worth revisiting not just the legacy and controversies of the man’s life, but the words of his speeches – original or not – that get lost in the shuffle:


I Have a Dream, August 28, 1963


But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.


I Have Been to the Mountaintop, April 3, 1968


We don’t have to argue with anybody. We don’t have to curse and go around acting bad with our words. We don’t need any bricks and bottles. We don’t need any Molotov cocktails. We just need to go around to these stores, and to these massive industries in our country, and say, “God sent us by here, to say to you that you’re not treating his children right. And we’ve come by here to ask you to make the first item on your agenda fair treatment, where God’s children are concerned. Now, if you are not prepared to do that, we do have an agenda that we must follow. And our agenda calls for withdrawing economic support from you.”


Rediscovering Lost Values, Detroit February 28, 1954


The trouble isn’t so much that we don’t know enough, but it’s as if we aren’t good enough. The trouble isn’t so much that our scientific genius lags behind, but our moral genius lags behind.  The great problem facing modern man is that, that the means by which we live,  have outdistanced the spiritual ends for which we live.  So we find ourselves caught in a messed-up world. The problem is with man himself and man’s soul.  We haven’t learned how to be just and honest and kind and true and loving. And that is the basis of our problem. The real problem is that through our scientific genius we’ve made of the world a neighborhood, but through our moral and spiritual genius we’ve failed to make of it a brotherhood. And the great danger facing us today is not so much the atomic bomb that was created by physical science. Not so much that atomic bomb that you can put in an aeroplane and drop on the heads of hundreds and thousands of people-as dangerous as that is. But the real danger confronting civilization today is that atomic bomb which lies in the hearts and souls of men, capable of exploding into the vilest of hate and into the most damaging selfishness. That’s the atomic bomb that we’ve got to fear today.  Problem is with the men.  Within the heart and the souls of men. That is the real basis of our problem.


As the history is recorded and available online, it is worth the time on the day King is remembered, to read or listen to his words.  They are not what his legacy says they are.  It is worth setting the record straight as his words – these words – were ignored and the dream turned into a nightmare.

This post was reblogged thanks to Rat Nation and Cultural Limits.



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One Comment
  1. thank you..never read that before…those are some deep words

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