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A BPL CELEBRATION OF MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.

martin-luther-king-jr-gesturing-everett(All BPL locations will be closed Monday, January 18th in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day).

Martin Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta, Georgia on January 15th, 1929. He was a pivotal advocate for African Americans during the Civil Rights Movement in the United States.

King experienced racism from an early age, and those events stayed with and eventually brought him to a life of activism. After graduating college with a doctorate degree in theology, King became a pastor in Alabama. He began a series of peaceful protests in the south that eventually changed many laws dealing with the equality of African Americans. King gave hundreds of moving speeches across the country, and in 1964 was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.On April 4th, 1968, Dr. King was shot and killed while in Memphis, Tennessee. Although his life ended that day, the work that he had accomplished changed the nation. King will be remembered not only for his commitment to the cause of equality for African Americans but also for his profound speeches that moved so many.

Some quotes shared by the Bridgeport Public Library Customer Services Team:

Taslima Sultana

“I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character”

Andre O’Connor

“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.”

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

Cecilia Fernandez

“Whatever your life’s work is, do it well. A man should do his job so well that the living, the dead, and the unborn could do it no better.”

Hassan Pooser

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

Twana Johnson

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

“Life most persistent and urgent question is, What are we doing for others?”

Danielle Bean

“Lightning makes no sound until it strikes.”

Vivian Bordeaux

“Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.”

“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.”

LIFE

“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.”

“Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge, which is power; religion gives man wisdom, which is control. Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals.”

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.”

“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”

“The limitation of riots, moral questions aside, is that they cannot win and their participants know it. Hence, rioting is not revolutionary but reactionary because it invites defeat. It involves an emotional catharsis, but it must be followed by a sense of futility.”

LOVE

“We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.”

“Nonviolence is absolute commitment to the way of love. Love is not emotional bash; it is not empty sentimentalism. It is the active outpouring of one’s whole being into the being of another.”

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES

“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.”

“A man who won’t die for something is not fit to live.”

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

LEADERSHIP

“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.”

“If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.”

“We are prone to judge success by the index of our salaries or the size of our automobiles rather than by the quality of our service and relationship to mankind.”

PROGRESS

“People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.”

“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.”

“I have a dream that one day little black boys and girls will be holding hands with little white boys and girls.” “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.”

“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.”

“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.”

NONVIOLENCE

“Violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral. I am not unmindful of the fact that violence often brings about momentary results. Nations have frequently won their independence in battle. But in spite of temporary victories, violence never brings permanent peace.

FREEDOM

“When we let freedom 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!’ ”