Martin Luther King, Jr's quote on Ignorance

And the History Behind it.
BY: Matthew Dennison

“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” Martin Luther King, Jr.


This is a quote from Martin Luther King, JR.'s sermon "Strength to Love". A sermon is a moral or religious subject that is based on the bible. King was trying to get this book of sermons to Harper and Brothers' Religious Books Department since 1957. But King was not promised the sermon book until mid 1962. King was arrested for holding a vigil outside Albany city hall. King worked on the sermon while he was in jail and continued to work on it after his release and then sent in his manuscript early in that coming fall to his publisher. Everything was not as good as it seemed because the publishers took out and edited kings work. King was worried that is initial spoken words would not reach the page due to the edits. Despite the changes to his work the "Strength To Love" is still a solid peace of work from Martin Luther King, JR.

Context of Quote

King is basically saying that not knowing what you are talking about and making judgements on others evan though there is no substance to judge with, can be very harmful to other's and evan yourself. King was writing a sermon using the themes loving your enemies, love in action, and shattered dreams. King is obviously referring to the civil rights movement that he led through peaceful acts like marches. When he mentions this quote in the book he wants to open peoples eyes by saying you should not act out of hate if you do not know what you are talking about. Many people hated other because of pure ignorance and that is what King is trying to say.


King says "sincere ignorance" and "contentious stupidity". Are the most dangerous things to the world. This means that people who intentionally know there wrongs, is the worst characteristic someone can have.


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