In celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday

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The Rev. Dr. King has always been a source of inspiration for me as an attorney and as a person.  I hope you all can celebrate his birthday by reading from some of his works, available at the King Papers Project.  Here is one passage that is as compelling today as it must have been when it was originally delivered, over 40 years ago.

I refuse to accept the idea that man is mere flotsam and jetsam in the river of life, unable to influence the unfolding events which surround him.

I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality.

I refuse to accept the cynical notion that nation after nation must spiral down a militaristic stairway into the hell of nuclear annihilation.

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.

I believe that even amid today’s mortar bursts and whining bullets, there is still hope for a brighter tomorrow.

I believe that wounded justice, lying prostrate on the blood-flowing streets of our nations, can be lifted from this dust of shame to reign supreme among the children of men.

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.

- from the Address delivered in acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize, December 10, 1964