01/16/2012 08:45 am ET Updated Mar 17, 2012

Beyond "I Have a Dream:" MLK Jr. Gave Us Much to Live By

Civil rights leader and Nobel Prize Winner Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968) was a Baptist minister and father of four, who believed in social change through peaceful means. He was inspirational in both word and deed. We can only wish he had had more years to share his guidance with us. In his memory, I have pulled the following quotes. They are meaningful to me and I hope to you as well:

  • 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.
  • Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.
  • A right delayed is a right denied.
  • All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.
  • Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.
  • All progress is precarious, and the solution of one problem brings us face to face with another problem.

King was assassinated in Memphis in 1968 when he was in town to appear at an event being held in support of striking garbage workers.

The more I explore our American stories, the more I find men and women who have been forgotten. To this end, I will be celebrating both Black History Month (February) and Women's History Month (March) by sending out three to four mailings per week with short reports on people or accomplishments that shouldn't be forgotten. To be added to these regular mailings, please email me and specify the list that interests you: If you're a teacher, these profiles will be useful in the classroom.