I’ve quoted here before from the speech that Dr. King gave on the eve of his assassination. It’s a stunning speech, made almost unbearable by the clarity of hindsight. I’ve included pieces of it in my haggadah for Passover at times, and no one ever seems to manage to get through it without their voice breaking. Thanks to the wonders of YouTube, you can watch some of it online.
This 40th anniversary of King’s death has a particular resonance, because of the comparison in that final speech between him, and Moses, seeing the promised land, but not making it there himself. The Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years before they made it. How long will we wander?
I was at a meeting last week where we were discussing Obama’s speech about race, and someone said that he thought there were echoes in it of Kennedy’s speech after King’s death. I hadn’t heard it, so I went and found the video online. Go watch it. (Warning — this clip cuts to footage of Kennedy’s assassination.)