Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and 50 Years Later

Early morning, April four
Shot rings out in the Memphis sky
Free at last, they took your life
They could not take your pride

Those are the words of Bono in the U2 song, “Pride,” remembering what happened to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

MLK’s final speech was given the day before he was shot and killed at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, TN. He was in Memphis supporting the sanitation workers’ strike. It’s very hard to believe people had to hold up signs saying, “I AM A MAN.” But that is where we were.

In a sense, we’ve come a long way in 50 years. But there is still more to accomplish – for African-Americans and for other minority groups.

Below is the video to the full speech: “I Have Been to the Mountaintop.” Read below the final words, which are connected to the words of Moses at the end of Deuteronomy. It is rather interesting how prophetic MLK’s words were on April 3, 1968.

He died too soon at the young age of 39.

“Well, I don’t know what will happen now; we’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop. I don’t mind.

Like anybody, I would like to live a long life – longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over, and I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land. And so I’m happy tonight; I’m not worried about anything; I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”

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