On Aug. 28, 1963, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
This historic speech helped galvanize the Civil Rights Movement and brought the plight of the disenfranchised to a larger national and international audience.
In honor of that historic moment and in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we present the 15 best quotes from that speech.
- “I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream.”
- “I have a dream that one day right there in Alabama little black boys and little black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.”
- “Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice.”
- “We will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.”
- “I have a dream that my four little 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.”
- “Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.”
- “I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave-owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.”
- “The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.”
- “Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.”
- “We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back.”
- “Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.”
- “We refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt.”
- “In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds.”
- “When we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, 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!”