"I'm concerned about a better world. I'm concerned about justice; I'm concerned about
brotherhood; I'm concerned about truth. (That’s right) And when one is concerned about that, he
can never advocate violence. For through violence you may murder a murderer, but you can't
murder murder. (Yes) Through violence you may murder a liar, but you can't establish truth.
(That's right) Through violence you may murder a hater, but you can't murder hate through
violence. (All right, That’s right) Darkness cannot put out darkness; only light can do that.
And I say to you, I have also decided to stick with love, for I know that love is ultimately the only
answer to mankind's problems. (Yes) And I'm going to talk about it everywhere I go. I know it
isn't popular to talk about it in some circles today. (No) And I'm not talking about emotional bosh
when I talk about love; I'm talking about a strong, demanding love. (Yes) For I have seen too
much hate. (Yes) I've seen too much hate on the faces of sheriffs in the South. (Yeah) I've seen
hate on the faces of too many Klansmen and too many White Citizens Councilors in the South
to want to hate, myself, because every time I see it, I know that it does something to their faces
and their personalities, and I say to myself that hate is too great a burden to bear. (Yes, That’s
right) I have decided to love. [applause] If you are seeking the highest good, I think you can find
it through love.
... And so I say to you today, my friends, that you may be able to speak with the tongues of men
and angels (All right); you may have the eloquence of articulate speech; but if you have not
love, it means nothing. (That's right) Yes, you may have the gift of prophecy; you may have the
gift of scientific prediction (Yes sir) and understand the behavior of molecules (All right); you
may break into the storehouse of nature (Yes sir) and bring forth many new insights; yes, you
may ascend to the heights of academic achievement (Yes sir) so that you have all knowledge
(Yes sir, Yes); and you may boast of your great institutions of learning and the boundless extent
of your degrees; but if you have not love, all of these mean absolutely nothing. (Yes) You may
even give your goods to feed the poor (Yes sir); you may bestow great gifts to charity (Speak);
and you may tower high in philanthropy; but if you have not love, your charity means nothing.
(Yes sir) You may even give your body to be burned and die the death of a martyr, and your
spilt blood may be a symbol of honor for generations yet unborn, and thousands may praise you
as one of history's greatest heroes; but if you have not love (Yes, All right), your blood was spilt
in vain. What I'm trying to get you to see this morning is that a man may be self-centered in his
self-denial and self-righteous in his self-sacrifice. His generosity may feed his ego, and his piety
may feed his pride. (Speak) So without love, benevolence becomes egotism, and martyrdom
becomes spiritual pride.
... And I must confess, my friends (Yes sir), that the road ahead will not always be smooth.
(Yes) There will still be rocky places of frustration (Yes) and meandering points of bewilderment.
There will be inevitable setbacks here and there. (Yes) And there will be those moments when
the buoyancy of hope will be transformed into the fatigue of despair. (Well) Our dreams will
sometimes be shattered and our ethereal hopes blasted. (Yes) We may again, with teardrenched
eyes, have to stand before the bier of some courageous civil rights worker whose life
will be snuffed out by the dastardly acts of bloodthirsty mobs. (Well) But difficult and painful as it
is (Well), we must walk on in the days ahead with an audacious faith in the future. ...
Let us realize that the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice. Let us
realize that William Cullen Bryant is right: "Truth, crushed to earth, will rise again." Let us go out
realizing that the Bible is right: "Be not deceived. God is not mocked. (Oh yeah) Whatsoever a
man soweth (Yes), that (Yes) shall he also reap." This is our hope for the future, and with this
faith we will be able to sing in some not too distant tomorrow, with a cosmic past tense, "We
have overcome! (Yes) We have overcome! Deep in my heart, I did believe (Yes) we would