Three Quotes for Martin Luther King Jr Day

January 15, 2024

by Deborah A. Bailey

I’ve decided to continue my tradition of sharing Martin Luther King,  Jr. quotes. You can see previous years here: 201520162018 , 2019, 2020. 20212022 and 2023.

Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.

mlk jr quoteMore often than not, those who are holding the reins of power aren’t interested in surrendering power. Or sharing it. They have become comfortable stacking the deck in their favor and have no motivation to change.

Because of that reality, those who are under the weight of oppression can’t hope and wait for the balance of power to shift on it’s own.

Waiting will not eventually right the wrongs, as history shows. The moral arc of the universe may bend towards justice but it will not do so by itself.







I have the audacity to believe that people everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits.

mlk jr quote

There is enough for everyone – though scarcity and fear of “those people” getting something you don’t get has been a powerful tool for those who seek power.

When people have what they need to live with self-respect, everyone can benefit. Everyone can be lifted up.






It doesn’t matter how strong your opinions are. If you don’t use your power for positive change, you are indeed part of the problem.


coretta scott king quote

We live in an age where everyone shares their thoughts and opinions online (and off). But if you aren’t taking action to bring about the things you say you are in favor of – your words don’t carry much weight.

You can do “small” things, everyday things, big things – great things. The idea is to take an action (large or small) to take a step towards positive change.







Read more about Coretta Scott King’s legacy:

If you want to read more about Martin Luther King Jr.’s writing, Letter from a Birmingham Jail is a good place to begin.


Deborah A Bailey

Deborah is a writer, writing workshop presenter and published author. She's host of the Women Entrepreneurs Radio podcast.

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