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I've Been to the Mountaintop

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Anna McGlone

on 22 May 2018

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Transcript of I've Been to the Mountaintop

I'VE BEEN TO THE MOUNTAINTOP
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.
3 April 1968
"And I want to say tonight -- I want to say tonight that I too am happy that I didn't sneeze.
Because if I had sneezed . . . I wouldn't have been around here in 1961, when we decided to take
a ride for freedom and ended segregation in inter-state travel.

If I had sneezed, I wouldn't have been around here in 1962, when Negroes in Albany, Georgia, decided
to straighten their backs up. And whenever men and women straighten their backs up, they are going somewhere,
because a man can't ride your back unless it is bent.

If I had sneezed -- If I had sneezed I wouldn't have been here in 1963, when the black people of Birmingham, Alabama,
aroused the conscience of this nation, and brought into being the Civil Rights Bill.

If I had sneezed, I wouldn't have had a chance later that year, in August, to try to tell America about a dream that I had had.
If I had sneezed, I wouldn't have been down in Selma, Alabama, to see the great Movement there.
If I had sneezed, I wouldn't have been in Memphis to see a community rally around those brothers and sisters who are suffering.
I'm so happy that I didn't sneeze.

Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn't matter with me now because I've been to the mountaintop. And I don't mind.

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!!"












Martin Luther King, Jr.
GOAL!
Impacted people by showing them how far they'd
come and how they need not worry about the outcome because the Glory of the Lord is waiting for them, no
matter the circumstance.
Mason Temple (Church of God in Christ Headquarters), Memphis, Tennessee
3 April 1968
Memphis City Sanitation Workers were striking
"And I want to say tonight -- I want to say tonight that I too am happy that I didn't sneeze.
Because
if I had sneezed
. . . I wouldn't have been around here in 1961, when we decided to take
a ride for freedom and ended segregation in inter-state travel.

If I had sneezed,
I wouldn't have been around here in 1962, when Negroes in Albany, Georgia, decided
to straighten their backs up. And whenever men and women straighten their backs up, they are going somewhere,
because a man can't ride your back unless it is bent.

If I had sneezed
-- If I had sneezed I wouldn't have been here in 1963, when the black people of Birmingham, Alabama,
aroused
the conscience of this nation
, and brought into being the Civil Rights Bill.

If I had sneezed
, I wouldn't have had a chance
later that year, in August, to try to tell America about a dream that I had had
.
If I had sneezed
, I wouldn't have been down in Selma, Alabama, to see the great Movement there.
If I had sneezed
, I wouldn't have been in Memphis to see a community rally around those brothers and sisters who are suffering.
I'm so happy that I didn't sneeze.

Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn't matter with me now because I've been to
the mountaintop
. And I don't mind.

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!!"
Heat of the Civil Rights Movement
Mass protest movement against discrimination and racial segregation
Mostly nonviolent protests designed to break down segregation in public facilities
Ethos: All highlighted are examples in which Dr. MLK, Jr. lists the parts of the civil rights movements in which he's been able to take part, boosting his credibility on the issue
Logos: All highlighted passages are also instances of success in the Civil Rights Movement that serve to support his message of remembering the successes and not being afraid of the future
Works Cited
“‘I've Been to the Mountaintop.’” King Encyclopedia | The Martin Luther King, Jr.,
Research and Education Institute, Stanford University, kinginstitute.stanford.edu/encyclopedia/ive-been-mountaintop.
Message of reflection
He did not fear what he knew was to come
Assassinated less than 24 hours later
Carson, Clayborne. “American Civil Rights Movement.” Encyclopædia Britannica,
Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 26 Apr. 2018, www.britannica.com/event/American-civil-rights-movement.
Civil rights reforms in '64 and '65 were beneficial to the movement but did not solve enduring economic, political, and cultural consequences of past racial segregation
He spoke to remind people of their accomplishments in the movement and to remind them that they are indeed making a difference in their actions
"And I want to say tonight -- I want to say tonight that I too am happy that I didn't sneeze.
Because if I had sneezed . . .
I wouldn't have been around here in 1961, when we decided to take
a ride for freedom and ended segregation in inter-state travel
.

If I had sneezed,
I wouldn't have been around here in 1962, when Negroes in Albany, Georgia, decided
to straighten their backs up. And whenever men and women straighten their backs up, they are going somewhere,
because a man can't ride your back unless it is bent
.

If I had sneezed -- If I had sneezed
I wouldn't have been here in 1963, when the black people of Birmingham, Alabama,
aroused the conscience of this nation, and brought into being the Civil Rights Bill
.

If I had sneezed,
I wouldn't have had a chance later that year, in August, to try to tell America about a dream that I had had
.
If I had sneezed,
I wouldn't have been down in Selma, Alabama, to see the great Movement there
.
If I had sneezed,
I wouldn't have been in Memphis to see a community rally around those brothers and sisters who are suffering
.
Pathos: in the first example, Dr. MLK, Jr. uses loaded language in the form of personification to emphasize the heroic efforts of people of the civil rights movements; in the second example, Dr. MLK, Jr. appeals to the need to belong, or "bandwagon"
If I had sneezed -- If I had sneezed I wouldn't have been here in 1963, when the black people of Birmingham, Alabama,
aroused the conscience of this nation
, and brought into being the Civil Rights Bill
If I had sneezed, I wouldn't have been in Memphis
to see a community rally around those brothers and sisters who are suffering
.
I'm so happy that I didn't sneeze.
Parallelism
Repetition
Allusion
Personification
Metaphor
Full transcript