Wisdom from Martin Luther King, Jr.

Fay Mitchell

An assassin’s bullet cut short the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, April 4, 1968, at about 6 p.m. Although murdered, shot by a Remington rifle at the hands of James Earl Ray, the ideals and words of King live on. Just about a week ago, his granddaughter, Yolanda Renee King, referenced his well-known “I Have a Dream” speech at the March 24 “March for Our Lives” in Washington, D.C.

What may have been the first version of that speech was given in Rocky Mount, N.C., in November 1962. Many other expressions from the Rocky Mount talk were incorporated into the momentous “I Have a Dream” speech given at the March on Washington in August 1963. Though murdered at the age of 39, 50 years ago this week, Kings words ring just as true. Let us take a week to ponder, maybe for four minutes, or eight, or 68, words of wisdom from Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

  1. That old law about ‘an eye for an eye’ leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do what is right.


  1.  In the end, we will not remember the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.


  1. Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor, it must be demanded by the oppressed.


  1. A riot is the language of the unheard.


  1. We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.


  1. We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.


  1. Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance or conscientious stupidity.


  1. We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear.


  1. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.


  1. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.