Sunday, April 4, 2010
Forty two years ago today, on April 4, 1968, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, TN. One thing in particular stands out to me about his death: the day before, he gave the speech which seemed to prophesy the end of his life. Somehow he knew, and yet he declared he was without fear.
In this powerfully-delivered speech, King declared that Black Americans would get to the Promised Land. I wonder if he'd say we've arrived--or that we're still on the plantation.
Below is the video clip of that portion of the speech, and below that, find the transcript.
We've got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn't matter with me now. Because I've been to the mountaintop. And 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. 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."
* Happy Birthday today to one of my favorite poets, Maya Angelou. Little known fact: Angelou didn't celebrate her birthday for many years because it was the date on which Dr. King was assassinated.