What are some important Martin Luther King Jr quotes?

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favoritethings eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One important quotation from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is that "darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." In other words, one cannot end hatred with hatred—when we hate those who hate us, we only increase the hate and allow it to thrive. However, when we meet hatred with love, it has the power to end the hate.

Another important quotation from Dr. King is that "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." This means that any type of injustice, when any group is mistreated, it threatens everyone everywhere. If one group is targeted for their skin color or their religion, then no one is safe because anyone could be the next group to be targeted. If people are allowed to get away with treating others unjustly, this injustice can spread.

A third quotation that is quite profound is "faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase." Social problems, especially, can feel terribly big and difficult to fix or even to know where to begin. Dr. King suggests that it is enough to take the first step—even if you cannot know if it will work or how things will end. Nothing will happen without a person who has faith that things can get better after taking that first step.

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