The MLK Resources HOME


Here we touch upon a few of the major themes that MLK refers to in his speeches and writings.

  • Racism
    "I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."
    "I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal."
    (Excerpted from "I Have A Dream")

    "Martin Luther King epitomized us coming together as a nation to bridge the racial divide,"
    (Royce West, a Dallas attorney who represents Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin.)

  • Spiritual beliefs
    "Immersed in religion at home and in church, King acquired skills and contacts that would serve him well once he accepted his calling as a minister. He considered his father and grandfather as appealing role models who combined pastoral cares with social activism. Although King's theological knowledge and public ministry would take him far from his origins, his basic identity remained rooted in Ebenezer Baptist church traditions that were intertwined with his own family's history."
    (Excerpted from "The Believer in the Social Gospel and Nonviolence", an essay by Bro. Anthony Dinh, O.P.)

  • Violence
    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led many of the peaceful demonstrations protesting the segregation between blacks and whites. Here is an interesting essay which discusses King's peaceful protesting.

    "Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time: the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. Man must evolve from all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love."
    (Martin Luther King, Jr., Nobel Prize acceptance speech, Stockholm, Sweden, December 11, 1964.)

  • Freedom
    "We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed."
    (Letter From Birmingham Jail, 1963)

    "Man is man because he is free to operate within the framework of his destiny. He is free to deliberate, to make decisions, and to choose between alternatives. He is distinguished from animals by his freedom to do evil or to do good and to walk the high road of beauty or tread the low road of ugly degeneracy."
    (Excerpted from The Measures of Man, 1959.)

  • Kings Inspirations
    "Since King believed that oppressed people have a moral obligation to resist any system that refuses to treat them as persons, he believed it necessary to expose and denounce any type of response by the oppressed that would ignore this duty to resist or even would resort to immoral forms of resistance. King chose, therefore, to pattern his crusades after Gandhi's campaigns."
    (Excerpted from "The Believer in the Social Gospel and Nonviolence", an essay by Bro. Anthony Dinh, O.P.)