On this day, the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and the “I Have a Dream” speech, I’d like to bring my readers’ attention to another powerful speech by Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. – “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop.”
This was Reverend King’s final speech, given on the eve of his assassination in Memphis, TN. I make reference to this speech in my novel, as well as explore the consequences of Reverend King’s death on my character’s city and relationships.
Reverend King arrived in Memphis on April 3, 1968, to show his support for the Black Memphis sanitation workers who were on strike due to unfair pay and conditions. During this speech, it is clear that the Reverend knew his time was limited with his words:
But it really doesn’t matter with me 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!
Watch the speech here: