Dr. Martin Luther King's Last Sermon
April 3, 1968
"I've Been to the Mountaintop" is the popular name of the last speech delivered by Martin Luther King, Jr.
His speech talks about seeing the future of the civil rights movement from the top of a mountain, where the movement has succeeded through the powers of love and nonviolence. Yet, in his vision, King is not there to see the victory. The next day, King was assassinated.
The I've Been to the Mountaintop speech, was a sermon Dr. Martin Luther King gave at Mason Temple in Memphis, Tennessee e (Church of God in Christ Headquarters), on April 3, 1968, and was the last public appearance before his assassination the next day. King, in Memphis to support a strike by garbage workers, gives a poignant vision of the victorious future of the civil rights struggle, but without him there to witness its final triumph. To many in the audience and beyond, King’s speech seemed to predict his own death.
The speech primarily concerns the Memphis Sanitation Strike. King calls for unity, economic actions, boycotts, and nonviolent protest, and challenges the United States to live up to its ideals. At the end of the speech, he discusses the possibility of an untimely death.
"True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice."
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."
"We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools. "