ScrapSayings, Martin Luther King Day

  • Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does. - William James

  • Adversity not only draws people together but brings forth that beautiful inward friendship, just as the cold winter forms ice-figures on the window panes which the warmth of the sun effaces. - Søren Kierkegaard

  • America did not invent human rights. In a very real sense human rights invented America. - Jimmy Carter

  • American's mission was and still is to take diversity and mold it into a cohesive and coherent whole that would espouse virtues and values essential to the maintenance of civil order. There is nothing easy about that mission. But it is not mission impossible. - Barbara Jordan

  • Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction. - Albert Einstein

  • As people we commit ourselves to making this world a happy and peaceful planet for all its inhabitants and pledge our unfailing support. We therefore join all other countries in promoting January 1, 2000 as a day of peace, ushering the dawn of a new millennium - a millennium of peace.
    - Keith C. Mitchell (Prime Minister of Grenada)

  • A candle loses none of its light by lighting another candle. So go out and light the fire of many candles.

  • Dare to reach out your hand into the darkness, to pull another hand into the light. - Norman B. Rice

  • Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. - Martin Luther King

  • Democracy is the conviction that there are extraordinary possibilities in ordinary people. - Harry Emerson Fosdik

  • Education, in the broadest and truest sense, will make an individual seek to help all people, regardless of race, regardless of color, regardless of condition. - George Washington Carver

  • Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. - Martin Luther King

  • Every crisis is an opportunity. Let us confront the crisis of worldwide apathy, despair and violence by taking the opportunity to join hands across this great earth on January 1, 2000 and rise together like the Phoenix from the ashes to create an active, a hopeful, a kinder civilization.
    - Victoria Principal

  • Every great dream begins with a dreamer. - Harriet Tubman

  • Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love. - Martin Luther King

  • Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself. - Leo Tolstoy

  • Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation. - Robert F. Kennedy

  • Forgiveness is the key to action and freedom. - Hannah Arendt

  • Follow his dream. Keep his dream alive.

  • Free at last, free at last, Thank God all mighty We are free at last! - Martin Luther King

  • Gather, Unite, Pray, Come Together In Peace

  • God give us leaders. A time like this demands great leaders. Leaders whom the lust of office does not kill; Leaders whom the spoils of life cannot buy; Leaders who posses opinions and will; Leaders who can stand before a demagogue and damn his treacherous flatteries without winking. Tall leaders sun-crowned, who live above the fog in public duty and in private thinking. - Martin Luther King

  • A great many people think they are changing when they are only rearranging their prejudices. - William James

  • Hating people because of their color is wrong. And it doesn't matter which color does the hating. It's just plain wrong. - Muhammad Ali

  • How do we create a harmonious society out of so many kinds of people? The key is tolerance -- the one value that is indispensable in creating community. One thing is clear to me: We, as human beings, must be willing to accept people who are different from ourselves.
    - Barbara Jordan Sesame Street Parents "All together Now"

  • How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. - Anne Frank

  • I Have a Dream -- Delivered on the steps at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. on August 28, 1963. (Just left click on I Have a Dream and a copy of the speech will pop up.)

  • I have faith in young people because I know the strongest emotions which prevail are those of love and caring and belief and tolerance.
    - Barbara Jordan article in "On Campus", February 14 1994

  • I have never been especially impressed by the heroics of people convinced that they are about to change the world, I am more awed by those who struggle to make one small difference after another. Dr. King took little steps, won little wars and asked all of us to do the same. - Ellen Goodman, American Journalist

  • I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word. - Martin Luther King

  • I will always remember my delight when Mrs. Georgia Gilmore - an unlettered woman of unusual intelligence - told how an operator demanded that she get off the bus after paying her fare and board it again by the back door, and then drove away before she could get there. She turned to Judge Carter and said: "When they count the money, they do not know Negro money from white money." - Martin Luther King

  • If everyone howled at every injustice, every act of barbarism, every act of unkindness, then we would be taking the first step towards a real humanity. - Nelson DeMille

  • If love and peace can prevail on earth, and if we can teach our children to honor nature's gifts, the joys and beauties of the outdoors will be here forever. - Jimmy Carter

  • If you have time to whine and complain about something then you have the time to do something about it.
    - Anthony J. D'Angelo, The College Blue Book

  • In union there is strength - Aesop

  • The individual is capable of both great compassion and great indifference. He has it within his means to nourish the former and outgrow the latter. - Norman Cousins

  • It doesn't pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself. - Lucille Ball

  • It is in struggle and service with our brothers and sisters, individually and collectively, that we find the meaning of life. - Jesse Jackson

  • It is often easier to become outraged by injustice half a world away than by oppression and discrimination half a block from home. - Carl T. Rowan

  • It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do little - do what you can. - Sydney Smith

  • It was character that got us out of bed, commitment that moved us into action, and discipline that enabled us to follow through. - Zig Ziglar

  • It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that's pretty important. - Martin Luther King

  • It's easy to make a buck. It's a lot tougher to make a difference. - Tom Brokaw

  • It's the action, not the fruit of the action, that's important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there'll be any fruit. But that doesn't mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result. - Mahatma Gandhi

  • Just as a sunbeam can't separate itself from the sun and a wave can't separate itself from the ocean; we can't separate ourselves from one another. We are all part of a vast sea of love one indivisible divine mind. - Marianne Williamson

  • A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don't necessarily want to go, but ought to be. - Rosalynn Carter

  • A leader with no followers is just a guy taking a walk. Dr. King's was a great leader whose followers picked up his flag and kept walking even when he couldn't.

  • Leadership is action, not position. - Donald H. McGannon

  • A leader leads by example whether he means to or not.

  • Learn to live as brothers. Hands together, United in peace, United in hope, United in freedom.

  • Let there be Peace on Earth and let it begin with me.
    Let there be Peace on Earth the Peace that was meant to be.
    As God as our Father … Brothers all are we. (Family all are we)
    Let me walk with my Brother in perfect harmony.
    (Let us walk with each other in perfect harmony)

    Let Peace begin with me, let this be the moment now.
    With every step I take let this be my solemn vow.
    To take each moment and live each moment in peace eternally.
    Let there be Peace on Earth and let it begin with me.

    Written by Sy Miller and Jill Jackson 1955

  • Let us never negotiate out of fear; but let us never fear to negotiate. - John F. Kennedy

  • Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend. - Martin Luther King

  • The majority of the Negroes who took part in the year-long boycott of Montgomery's buses were poor and untutored; but they understood the essence of the Montgomery movement; one elderly woman summed it up for the rest. When asked after several weeks of walking whether she was tired, she answered: "My feet is tired, but my soul is at rest." - Martin Luther King Stride Toward Freedom, The Montgomery Story, 1958

  • The man was taken from us, but his teachings, dreams, and his hopes were left behind. We own them and should cherish them always. The words may be bigger than the man himself.

  • My life is my message. - Mahatma Gandhi

  • Never do anything against conscience even if the state demands it. - Albert Einstein

  • Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something.

  • The nonviolent approach does not immediately change the heart of the oppressor. It first does something to the hearts and souls of those committed to it. It gives them new self-respect; it calls up resources of strength and courage that they did not know they had. Finally it reaches the opponent and so stirs his conscience that reconciliation becomes a reality. - Martin Luther King

  • Not only must we be good, but we must also be good for something. - Henry David Thoreau

  • Oh, if only … the whole world would realize that people were really kindly disposed toward one another, that they are all equal and everything else is just transitory! How lovely to think that no one need wait a moment, we can start now, start slowly changing the world… Give of yourself … even if it is only kindness! …Give again and again, don't lose courage… - Anne Frank

  • One day our descendants will think it incredible that we paid so much attention to things like the amount of melanin in our skin or the shape of our eyes or our gender instead of the unique identities of each of us as complex human beings. - Franklin Thomas

  • Passing the seeker as he prayed, came the crippled and the beggar and the beaten. And seeing them… he cried, "Great God, how is it that a loving creator can see such things and yet do nothing about them?" God said, "I did do something. I gave them you."

  • Peace on Earth, can it be
    Years from now, perhaps we'll see
    See the day of glory
    See the day, when men of good will
    Live in peace, live in peace again
    Peace on Earth, can it be

    Every child must be made aware
    Every child must be made to care
    Care enough for his fellow man
    To give all the love that he can

    I pray my wish will come true
    For my child and your child too
    He'll see the day of glory
    See the day when men of good will
    Live in peace, live in peace again
    Peace on Earth, can it be Can it be

    - David Bowie, featured in a duet with Bing Crosby singing Little Drummer Boy. This was recorded on September 11, 1977 for Bing Crosby's yearly Christmas special. Crosby died a month later and the show aired posthumously in December 1977.

  • Peace Train

  • Prejudices are the chains forged by ignorance to keep men apart. - Countess of Blessington

  • The purpose of life is not to be happy - but to matter, to be productive, to be useful, to have it make some difference that you have lived at all. - Leo Rosten

  • Racial superiority is a mere pigment of the imagination.

  • Racism is man's gravest threat to man - the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason. - Abraham Joshua Heschel

  • Racism isn't born, folks, it's taught. I have a two-year-old son. You know what he hates? Naps! End of list. - Dennis Leary

  • Segregation was wrong when it was forced by white people, and I believe it is still wrong when it is requested by black people. - Coretta Scott King

  • A snowflake is one of God's most fragile creations, but look what they can do when they stick together!

  • The Space Age is shrinking distances between us on the planet and In the universe with irreversible momentum, bringing us ever closer to each other. We will eventually live in the intimacy of a village. A village lives by the harmonious cooperation of its people - to share in the digging of a well or the reaping of a harvest or the education of its children. So I believe the Peace of the Millennium is inevitable - and I celebrate it!
    - Burgess Meredith (1907-1997, American Actor, Director)

  • Strange game, war; the only winning move is NOT TO PLAY! Wouldn't you like to play a nice game of chess? - Joshua the computer from War Games

  • Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts. - Winston Churchill

  • Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step. - Martin Luther King

  • Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it. - George Santayana

  • TIME LINE: 1942 The Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) is founded.

    TIME LINE: Renowned actor/singer Paul Robeson founds the American Crusade Against Lynching

    TIME LINE: 1947 Jackie Robinson (1919-1972) becomes the first black player in major league baseball for the New York Giants.

    TIME LINE: 1948 July 12 - Hubert Humphrey makes a controversial speech in favor of American Civil rights at the Democratic National Convention

    TIME LINE: 1948 July 26 - President Harry S. Truman issues Executive Order 9981 ordering the end of segregation in the armed forces.

    TIME LINE: 1950 June 5 - In McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents the Supreme Court rules that a public institution of higher learning could not provide different treatment to a student solely because of their race.

    TIME LINE: 1950 June 5 - In Sweatt v. Painter the Supreme Court rules that a separate-but-equal Texas law school was actually unequal, partly in that it isolated the students from the majority of other future lawyers.

    TIME LINE: 1950 The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights is created in Washington, DC to promote the enactment and enforcement of effective civil rights legislation and policy.

    TIME LINE: 1954 In Brown vs. Board of Education, the Supreme Court bans segregation in public schools and over turns the separate-but-equal doctrine.

    TIME LINE: 1955 May 31 - The Supreme Court rules in "Brown II" that desegregation must occur with "all deliberate speed".

    TIME LINE: 1955 December 1 Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus to a white person. This was the catalyst for the desegregation on Montgomery, Alabama Buses.

    TIME LINE: 1955-1956 Montgomery Bus Boycott to fight segregation of blacks and whites on city buses. This was one of many non-violent protests and it lasted from December 5, 1955 to December 20, 1965.

    TIME LINE: 1957 September 4 - The governor of Arkansas out the National Guard to block integration of Little Rock Central High School.

    TIME LINE: 1957 September 5 - Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas is integrated. Federal and National Guard troops escort the Little Rock Nine to protect them from violence.

    TIME LINE: 1957 Civil Rights Act of 1957 signed.

    TIME LINE: 1960 February 1 - Four Black students sit at the Woolworth's lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina, sparking six months of the Greensboro Sit-Ins

    TIME LINE: 1960 May 6 - Civil Rights Act of 1960 signed by President Eisenhower.

    TIME LINE: 1960 July 11 - To Kill a Mockingbird published.

    TIME LINE: 1961 March 6 President John F. Kennedy issues Executive Order 10925, which establishes a Presidential committee which will later become the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

    TIME LINE: 1961 May 4 - The Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) sends student volunteers on interstate bus trips: these are labeled the Freedom Rides. Riots ensue.

    TIME LINE: 1962 September 20 - James Meredith is barred from becoming the first Black student to enroll at the University of Mississippi. Federal troops are sent and he enrolls.

    TIME LINE: 1962 November 20 - President Kennedy signs Executive Order 11063 banning segregation in federally funded housing.

    TIME LINE: 1963 January - Incoming Alabama governor George Wallace calls for "segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever" in his inaugural address.

    TIME LINE: 1963 April 16 "Letter From Birmingham Jail, Why we can't wait" as a response to white clergy asking the Blacks of America to Be patient and wait!! for freedom, wait for their God given rights, wait for equality.

    TIME LINE: 1963 June 11 - President John F. Kennedy makes his historic civil rights speech, promising a bill to Congress the next week. About civil rights for "Negroes," in his speech he asks for "the kind of equality of treatment which we would want for ourselves."

    TIME LINE: 1963 August 28 Unity march on Washington DC, and Martin Luther King delivers his "I Have A Dream" speech.

    TIME LINE: 1963 June 21 - Mississippi Civil Rights Workers Murdered.

    TIME LINE: 1964 June 28 - Organization of Afro-American Unity is founded by Malcolm X, lasts until his death.

    TIME LINE: 1964 July 2 - Civil Rights Act of 1964 signed.

    TIME LINE: 1964 December 10 - Martin Luther King is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

    TIME LINE: 1964 - The Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party challenges the seating of all-white Mississippi representatives at the Democratic national convention.

    TIME LINE: 1965 February 21 - Malcolm X is shot to death in Manhattan, New York, probably by members of the Black Muslim faith.

    TIME LINE: 1965 March 7 - Bloody Sunday: Civil rights workers in Selma, Alabama begin a march to Montgomery, but are stopped by a massive police blockade as they crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Many marchers are severely injured and one killed.

    TIME LINE: 1965 March 15 - President Lyndon Johnson uses the phrase "We shall overcome" in a speech before Congress on the voting rights bill.

    TIME LINE: 1965 March 25 - white volunteer Viola Liuzzo is shot and killed by Ku Klux Klan members -- one of whom was an FBI informant.

    TIME LINE: 1965 August 6 - Voting Rights Act of 1965 signed.

    TIME LINE: 1965 August 11 - Watts riots erupt.

    TIME LINE: 1965 September 24 - Executive Order 11246 is signed, requiring Equal Employment Opportunity by federal contractors.

    TIME LINE: 1965 Bill Cosby co-stars in I Spy, a first for a black person on American television.

    TIME LINE: 1966 January 10 - NAACP local chapter president Vernon Dahmer is injured by a bomb in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. He dies the next day.

    TIME LINE: 1967 June 12 - In Loving vs. Virginia, the Supreme Court rules that prohibiting interracial marriage is unconstitutional.

    TIME LINE: 1967 June 13 - Thurgood Marshall is the first black man to be appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

    TIME LINE: 1967 August 2 - The movie In the Heat of the Night is released starring Sidney Poitier .

    TIME LINE: 1967 December 11 - The movie Guess Who's Coming to Dinner is released, starring Sidney Poitier.

    TIME LINE: 1967 - The trial of accused killers in the Mississippi civil rights worker murders convicts 7 of 18 accused men. Conspirator Edgar Ray Killen is convicted in 2005.

    TIME LINE: 1968 February 8 - Orangeburg Massacre occurs during South Carolina University protest. 3 students died 27 injured.

    TIME LINE: 1968 April 4 - Dr. Martin Luther King is shot and killed in Memphis, Tennessee by James Earl Ray.

    TIME LINE: 1968 April 11 - Civil Rights Act of 1968 is signed. The Fair Housing Act is Title VIII of this Civil Rights Act - it bans discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of housing.

    TIME LINE: 1968 October - Tommie Smith and John Carlos raise their fists to symbolize black power and unity after winning the gold and bronze medals, respectively, at the 1968 Summer Olympic Games.

    TIME LINE: 1968 November 22 - first interracial kiss on American television, between Nichelle Nichols and William Shatner on Star Trek (Gene Roddenberry wrote many story lines for Star Trek that involved racial relations and equality).

    TIME LINE: 1968 - On a prime time television special, Petula Clark touches Harry Belafonte's arm.

    TIME LINE: 1968 - Poor People's Campaign marches on Washington, DC.

    For more Civil Rights in America visit this wiki page.

  • Times like this remind us of all that matters most in life … And we realize the things that matter most aren't really "things" at all.

  • To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
    - Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (KJV). The piece was set to music in 1952 by Pete Seeger in his song Turn!, Turn!, Turn!, which was popularly covered by the Byrds.)

  • Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow mindedness. - Mark Twain

  • A True Man of Peace and Equality for All People.

  • A true self sacrificing act requires at least some sacrifice. - West Wing

  • The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. - Martin Luther King

  • United We March

  • United we stand, divided we fall!

  • Violence is the last resort of civilized nations. Violence wrapped in secrecy is the choice of thugs!
    - West Wing, season 5, episode 3, Jefferson Lives, written by Carol Flint

  • We all have gifts: powers to varying degrees - and everyone has at least one gift - that is your particular piece of power. Acknowledging that you do have power is a major energy of change.
    - Dr. Lee Pulos, Self-help author

  • We live surrounded by a sea of poverty. Nevertheless, this sea can decrease in size. Our work is only a drop in a bucket, but this drop is necessary. - Mother Teresa

  • We must accept finite disappointments, but we must never lose infinite hope. - Martin Luther King

  • We shall overcome, We shall overcome, We shall overcome some day, Chorus:
    Oh deep in my heart I do believe, We shall overcome some day.
    2. We'll walk hand in hand, We'll walk hand in hand,
    We'll walk hand in hand some day. Chorus
    3. We shall all be free, We shall all be free, We shall all be free some day. Chorus
    4. We are not afraid, We are not afraid, We are not afraid today. Chorus
    5. We are not alone, We are not alone, We are not alone today. Chorus
    6. The whole wide world around, The whole wide world around, The whole wide world around some day. Chorus
    7. We shall overcome, We shall overcome, We shall overcome some day. Chorus
    - Lyrics derived from Charles Tindley's gospel song "I'll Overcome Some Day" (1900)

  • What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal. - Albert Pike

  • When leaders act contrary to conscience, we must act contrary to leaders. - Veterans Fast for Life

  • When your first name becomes "nigger," your middle name becomes "boy" (however old you are), and your wife and mother are never given the respected title "Mrs."; when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro… when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of "no bodiness" - then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait. - Martin Luther King "Letter from a Birmingham Jail, Why We Can't Wait" 1963

  • You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
    You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
    You cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
    You cannot further the brotherhood of man by encouraging class hatred.
    You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.
    You cannot build character and courage by taking away man's initiative and independence.
    You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for them selves.
    - Abraham Lincoln