There’s no question Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the most brilliant and influential civil rights leaders and orators the world has ever known. His speeches and his writings reflect that brilliance, and the quotes drawn from his expansive writing have inspired people for generations. But if we stop at just quotes, we can miss the depth and nuance of his words, and the profound meaning and deeper lessons behind them.
So this MLK Day, let’s dive deeper into these famous quotes and reflect on what actualizing King’s dreams actually requires of us. Let’s open our minds and hearts to changing the way we are in the world in order to dismantle the racist systems all around us.
Here are a few ideas of ways to do just that:
Take time to hold gratitude for Dr. King’s life, his impact, and his legacy that reverberates throughout our nation and world. Not only for the sacrifices he made in his fight for justice, but for the ways in which our world would be different had he never lived.
Embrace hope that his work will continue on, and that his life and words will continue to inspire entire generations in the pursuit of racial and social justice.
Absorb his brilliance by reading and listening to the full versions (below) of some of King’s most impactful speeches and writings. Learn from and engage with the work of other freedom fighters who worked alongside Dr. King, and in the decades since his death. Remarkable thinkers and activists like the Black Panthers, Bayard Rustin, Angela Davis, James Baldwin, Audre Lorde, Black Lives Matter, the late bell hooks, and so many more.
Support BIPOC-led and serving groups and organizations who are working to end racism and achieve the world that Dr. King knew was possible. You can check out our amazing Community Grant recipient list for ideas of organizations working to support QTBIPOC communities.
Today, we recommit to doing everything we can to fight for King’s vision, and to invest in the brilliant organizers who are working to realize that vision, and their own visions, throughout our region. Not just with our words, but with our dollars and community support.
Please join us in honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and all he gave to our movements for justice in the deep belief that our country could do better and be better. We’re taking that belief and that hope with us today—and we will work to hold onto it throughout 2022 and beyond.
Just a few full speeches and writings of Dr. King
Katie Carter is Pride Foundation CEO.