Soul Food for Friday: Hope & the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial

This week’s Soul Food for Friday comes from my recent visit to Washington, D.C., a great source of memorials and quotes. One evening we were able to go to the new Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial, a man who did much for making us aware of the reality of racism and opened our eyes to the prejudice prevalent in our own country. He also was a gifted communicator.

In addition to the memorial itself, there is Inscription Wall that has 14 quotes from Dr. King. I was moved as I read them, and by one of the quotes on the King statue itself.

File:Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Stone of Hope at Dusk.jpg

MLK Statue from Wikipedia

Looking at the statue and then moving left is this inscription and this week’s Soul Food for Friday: “Out of a mountain of despair came a stone of hope.” 

The King statue is 18 feet , and the two pieces of the mountain reveal the statue has been pulled out from this despair and declared hope for the “dream”.

From Wikipedia I found a list of all 14 quotes on the Inscription Wall that lines the path to and away from the statue. They are:

The fourteen quotes on the Inscription Wall are:

  • “We shall overcome because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” (16 August 1967, Atlanta, GA)
  • “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” (1963, Strength to Love)
  • “I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.” (10 December 1964, Oslo, Norway)
  • “Make a career of humanity. Commit yourself to the noble struggle for equal rights. You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country, and a finer world to live in.” (18 April 1959, Washington, DC)
  • “I oppose the war in Vietnam because I love America. I speak out against it not in anger but with anxiety and sorrow in my heart, and above all with a passionate desire to see our beloved country stand as a moral example of the world.” (25 February 1967, Los Angeles, CA)
  • “If we are to have peace on earth, our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective.” (24 December 1967, Atlanta, GA)
  • “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” (16 April 1963, Birmingham, AL)
  • “I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits.” (10 December 1964, Oslo, Norway)
  • “It is not enough to say “We must not wage war.” It is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it. We must concentrate not merely on the negative expulsion of war, but on the positive affirmation of peace.” (24 December 1967, Atlanta, GA)
  • “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.” (25 February 1967, Los Angeles, CA)
  • “Every nation must now develop an overriding loyalty to mankind as a whole in order to preserve the best in their individual societies.” (4 April 1967, Riverside Church, New York, NY)
  • “We are determined here in Montgomery to work and fight until justice runs “down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream.” (5 December 1955, Montgomery, AL)
  • “We must come to see that the end we seek is a society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience.” (16 April 1963, Birmingham, AL)
  • “True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice.” (16 April 1963, Birmingham, AL)
  • What’s your favorite Martin Luther King, Jr. quote? Why does it speak so powerfully to you?
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Filed under Leadership and America, Leadership Quotes

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