7 greatest Martin Luther King Jr. quotes

On Aug. 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his iconic "I Have a Dream" speech.

>> Read more trending stories

Although the speech is King’s most frequently quoted, the civil rights legend gave many speeches on a range of topics – and they aren't all about "dreams" and "mountaintops."

Here are some of King’s lesser-known quotes:

1. On the rationalization of slavery, from his 1963 collection of sermons "Strength to Love:" "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."

2. On the need for executive orders, from his 1962 speech at Dartmouth: “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 is pretty important, also.”
3. On poverty and the failings of capitalism, from his 1967 “Beyond Vietnam” speech: “True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.”
4. In response to William Faulkner’s statement that civil rights activists should allow whites time to get used to equal rights: "We can't slow up because of our love for democracy and our love for America. Someone should tell Faulkner that the vast majority of the people on this globe are colored.”
5. On the cost of silently tolerating injustice, from his 1963 “Letter from a Birmingham Jail: “We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people.” 
6. On rioting as a means of protest, from his 1967 “Where Do We Go From Here?” speech: “A riot is at bottom the language of the unheard.”
7. On military spending, from his 1967 “Beyond Vietnam” speech: “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.”