Sunday, May 19, 2013

From Dr. King's last speech. . .looking for Amos

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. shared the following comments in a sermon delivered in Memphis, Tennessee the evening prior to his death:

"We need all of you. . . and you know what's beautiful to me, is to see all of these ministers of the Gospel.  It's a marvelous picture.  Who is it that is supposed to articulate the longings and aspirations of the people more than the preacher?  Somehow the preacher must be an Amos, and say, 'Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.' . . .

"It's alright to talk about 'long white robes over yonder,' in all its symbolism.  But ultimately, people want some suits and dresses and shoes to wear down here.  It's alright to talk about 'streets flowing with milk and honey,' but God has commanded us to be concerned about the slums down here, and [the] children who can't eat three square meals a day.  It's alright to talk about the new Jerusalem, but one day, God' preacher must talk about the New York, the new Atlanta, the new Philadelphia, the new Los Angeles, the new Memphis, Tennessee.  That is what we have to do. . . .

"We aren't going to let any mace stop us.  We are masters in our nonviolent movement in disarming police forces; they don't know what to do.  I've seen them so often.  I remember in Birmingham. . .when we were in the majestic struggle there [and] we would move out. . .by the hundreds. . . . And Bull Conner would tell them to send the dogs forth and they did come; but we just went before the dogs singing.  Bull Connor next would say, 'Turn the fire hoses on.'  And, as I said to you the other night, Bull Connor didn't know history.  He knew a kind of physics that somehow didn't relate to the transphysics that we knew about.  And that was the fact that there was a certain kind of fire that no water could put out."

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