In Remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Monday January 18, 2021 is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. During these turbulent times of a worldwide pandemic causing thousands of deaths daily and national political and social unrest in the United States, it is particularly appropriate to remember Martin Luther King and everything he stood for. His inspirational words ring as true today as ever before.

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

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

“True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.”

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

“There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.”

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

“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

“Let no man pull you so low as to hate him.”

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

“We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy.”

When King spoke at SMU in March 1966, he noted that the question he fielded most often was whether we were making any real progress in race relations. “I would say that we have come a long, long way in our struggle to make justice a reality for all … but we have a long, long way to go before the problem is solved,” he said. That was 55 years ago, and we are still answering this question the same way. As King said, “The time is always right to do what is right.”












Anne E. Peterson, Curator of Photographs, DeGolyer Library