Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. - "I've Been to the Mountain Top"
Season 4, Ep. 14
On April 3, 1968 the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was in Memphis, Tennessee to lend his support, his help, and his leadership to theMemphis Sanitation Worker’s Strike.That February, Black sanitation workers had walked off the job because two of them had been crushed to death in a garbage compacting truck. There was already unrest and tension because the Black workers were paid poorly and treated even worse. They deserved a raise and better working conditions.On March 28, Dr. King participated in a huge Memphis march, but to his dismay, it ended in violence. With the intention of leading a peaceful march later that week, Dr. King returned to Memphis on April 3. That evening, he spoke at Mason Temple, then the Church of God in Christ world headquarters.As he had throughout the tumultuous struggle for Civil Rights during the 1950s and 60s, Dr. King called on America and Americans to live up to the promise of our founding creed, and to honor the words of our founding documents.As Dr. King came to the end of his speech, he talked about his 1958 attempted assassination, the bomb threat that delayed his plane that day, and threats made against him in Memphis.As a storm raged outside the packed church, Dr. King prophetically spoke of his own mortality.The next day, Thursday, April 4, 1968, Dr. King was at the Lorraine Motel with aides and friends; Rev. Billie Kyles of Memphis arrived to take the group to dinner. At about 6 p.m. Dr. King stood with Rev. Kyles on the balcony outside his Room 306 and told musician Ben Branch to be sure to play “Take My Hand, Precious Lord” at the rally that evening.Then, as Dr. King leaned over the balcony railing to speak with his young aide Reverend Jesse Jackson he was struck down by an assassin’s bullet.He was 39 years old.Later that evening, in Indianapolis, Indiana – presidential candidate, Senator Robert Kennedy delivered the news of Dr. King’s murder to a crowd of black and white supporters.Exactly two months later Robert Kennedy himself was assassinated in Los Angeles after winning the California Democratic presidential primary.With that, let’s listen to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s “I've Been to the Mountain Top” in its entirety.