Nobel Peace Prize speech – Dec. 10, 1964
In 1964, King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his civil rights activism and gave an acceptance speech at a ceremony held in the auditorium of the University of Oslo, in Norway.
While speaking of the constant racial injustice happening in the United States, King concluded that the award was “a profound recognition that nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral question of our time — the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to violence and oppression.”
“Civilization and violence are antithetical concepts. Negroes of the United States, following the people of India, have demonstrated that nonviolence is not sterile passivity, but a powerful moral force which makes for social transformation,” King said.
“Sooner or later all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace, and thereby transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood.”