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Reflecting on Martin Luther King Jr.’s Last Speech: 5 Quotes to Remember 50 Years Later

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Remembering Martin Luther King Jr.’s Final Speech: “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop”

Fifty years ago, on April 3, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his final speech at Mason Temple in Memphis, Tennessee. This speech, now famously known as “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop,” was a powerful message of support for the sanitation workers strike taking place in the city.

In his speech, Dr. King emphasized the importance of nonviolent protest and the power of economic withdrawal. He spoke about the need for better safety standards and wages for the sanitation workers, highlighting the injustices they faced and the urgent need for change.

As we reflect on the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and the impact of his final speech, here are five memorable lines that continue to inspire us today:

1. “It is no longer a choice between violence and nonviolence in this world; it’s nonviolence or nonexistence.”
Dr. King reminds us that the time for action is now, and that we must choose nonviolence in order to ensure our survival as a society.

2. “We mean business now and we are determined to gain our rightful place in God’s world.”
This line speaks to the determination and resilience of the sanitation workers and their fight for justice and equality.

3. “Always anchor our external direct action with the power of economic withdrawal.”
Dr. King highlights the economic power of the collective group and the importance of using that power to bring about change.

4. “Let us develop a kind of dangerous unselfishness.”
This call to action challenges us to put aside our own self-interest and work towards a greater good for all.

5. “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.”
Dr. King’s words reflect his unwavering commitment to his cause and his faith in the ultimate justice of God’s will.

As we remember Martin Luther King Jr. and his final speech, let us be inspired by his words and continue to work towards a more just and equitable society for all. Let us honor his legacy by standing up for what is right and fighting for a better future for generations to come.

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