To the editor:
Let the words of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Detroit speech on June 23, 1963, ring in your ears and carry you through your years: “I have a dream this afternoon that one day, one day, men will no longer burn down houses and the church of God simply because people want to be free.”
And from the old spiritual cited in King’s Detroit speech, are these powerful words: “Free at last! Free at last!” To which King added and concluded with “Thank God almighty, we are free at last!”
And my favorite words of all, delivered in Memphis April 3, 1968, the day before his assassination in that troubled city: “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.”
These haunting lines and scores more are in the book “A Call to Conscience: The Landmark Speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” by Clayborne Carson, Kris Shephard and Andrew Young.
There are 11 speeches, each with an introduction by a different luminary ranging from Andrew Young to Rosa Parks to Edward Kennedy.