Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was much more than an orator, however, his influence cannot be separated from his powerful words. Most people recognize his famous “I Have a Dream” Speech at the March On Washington in August of 1963, but his words are much more profound than the “I have a dream” soundbite.

Dr. King was both revolutionary and uplifting with verbal style that few other speakers have ever achieved. Here are 4 speeches that you can listen to today to remember the holistic vision:

1. “Creative Maladjustment”

“Somewhere we must come to see that human progress never rolls in on the wheels of inevitability. It comes through the tireless efforts and persistent work of dedicated individuals, who are willing to be co-workers with God and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the primitive forces of stagnation. So we must help time, and we must realize that the time is always right to do right.”

2. “What is Your Life’s Blueprint?”

“Don’t allow anybody to make you feel that you are nobody. Always feel that you count. Always feel that you have worth. And always feel that your life has ultimate significance”

“Do your job so well that the living, the dead, or the unborn couldn’t do it any better”

“You have a responsibility to seek to make life better for everybody. So, you must be involved in the struggle for freedom and justice”

3. “The Other America”

“We shall overcome because the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice. We shall overcome because Carlisle is right. “No lie can live forever.” We shall overcome because William Cullen Bryant is right. “Truth crushed to earth will rise again.” We shall overcome because James Russell Lowell is right. “Truth forever on the scaffold, wrong forever on the throne.” Yet that scaffold sways the future. We shall overcome because the Bible is right. “You shall reap what you sow.” With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to speed up the day when all of God’s children all over this nation – black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old negro spiritual, “Free at Last, Free at Last, Thank God Almighty, We are Free At Last.”

 

4. “Paul’s Letter to American Christians”

“So Americans I must urge you to get rid of every aspect of segregation. The broad universalism standing at the center of the gospel makes both the theory and practice of segregation morally unjustifiable.”

“So American Christians, you may master the intricacies of the English language. You may possess all of the eloquence of articulate speech. But even if you “speak with the tongues of man and angels, and have not love, you are become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.”

“So the greatest of all virtues is love. It is here that we find the true meaning of the Christian faith. This is at bottom the meaning of the cross. The great event on Calvary signifies more than a meaningless drama that took place on the stage of history. It is a telescope through which we look out into the long vista of eternity and see the love of God breaking forth into time. It is an eternal reminder to a power drunk generation that love is most durable power in the world, and that it is at bottom the heartbeat of the moral cosmos. Only through achieving this love can you expect to matriculate into the university of eternal life.”

 

Tyler Burns

Author Tyler Burns

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