"Let us develop a kind of dangerous unselfishness."

"On April 4, 1968, 43 years ago today, Civil Rights Movement leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was tragically assassinated while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. He was 39 years old.

Far from the sanitized version of his life currently taught to America's school children, King was genuine, full-scale agitator - leading marches, supporting strikes and nonviolently demanding racial and economic equality for all Americans. He'd headed to Memphis to help the city's sanitation workers fight for the right to collectively bargain. On April 3, the day before his assassination, King delivered his last public speech, "I've Been to the Mountaintop", in support of those striking workers, saying,

All we say to America is, "Be true to what you said on paper." If I lived in China or even Russia, or any totalitarian country, maybe I could understand the denial of certain basic First Amendment privileges, because they hadn't committed themselves to that over there. But somewhere I read of the freedom of assembly. Somewhere I read of the freedom of speech. Somewhere I read of the freedom of the press. Somewhere I read that the greatness of America is the right to protest for right." source.

"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!

Find the full text of King's powerful final speech here.

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