As the country celebrates the holiday in his honor, you will likely see the same quotations from Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech shared again and again. To combat the scrubbed and sanitized version of the Civil Rights leader that will be filling up your Facebook timelines, Raw Story presents a different take of the life and thought of this slain American hero.

  • “So we have been repeatedly faced with the cruel irony of watching Negro and white boys on TV screens as they kill and die together for a nation that has been unable to seat them together in the same schools. So we watch them in brutal solidarity burning the huts of a poor village, but we realize that they would hardly live on the same block in Chicago. I could not be silent in the face of such cruel manipulation of the poor.” — “Beyond Vietnam
  • “This almost ‘lunatic fringe’ of modern child care has been responsible for most strange and fantastic methods of child rearing in many American homes. The child is permitted to almost terrorize the home for fear of having its individuality repressed. Somewhere along the way every child must be trained into the obligations of cooperative living.” — “Advice for Living
  • Of the four children killed in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing: “They have something to say to every politician who has fed his constituents with the stale bread of hatred and the spoiled meat of racism. They have something to say to a federal government that has compromised with the undemocratic practices of southern Dixiecrats and the blatant hypocrisy of right-wing northern Republicans.” — “Eulogy for the Martyred Children
  • “Organized labor has proved to be one of the most powerful forces in removing the blight of segregation and discrimination from our nation.” — “A Look to the Future
  • “I can well understand your antagonistic attitude toward the Christian church for its failure to match practice with profession in the area of the brotherhood of man.” — “Advice for Living
  • Upon being arrested in Fulton County, Georgia: “Much to my chagrin, the jail is segregated, also.” — “Press Release from Dr. King
  • “Freedom only comes through persistent revolt, through persistent agitation, through persistently rising up against the system of evil.” — “The Birth of a New Nation
  • “It is a sad day for our country when men come to feel that oppressed people cannot desire freedom and human dignity unless they are motivated by Communism.” — “Letter to Harry Truman
  • “It seems to me that one must decide to either play gospel music or rock and roll. The two are totally incompatible. The profound sacred and spiritual meaning of the great music of the church must never be mixed with the transitory quality of rock and roll music.” — “Advice for Living
  • “The principle of self-defense, even involving weapons and bloodshed, has never been condemned, even by Gandhi, who sanctioned it for those unable to master pure nonviolence.” — “The Social Organization of Nonviolence
  • “Marriage is at bottom a mutual agreement between two individuals. One always has the freedom to say yes or no to the agreement.” – “Advice for Living
  • “We must be concerned not merely about who murdered them, but about the system, the way of life, the philosophy which produced the murderers.” – “Eulogy for the Martyred Children