"If I had sneezed,..."
MLK's Last Speech "If I had sneezed" - YouTube
"If I Had Sneezed".....A Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King - YouTube
King's Final Speech, Forty Years Ago : NPR
On the dark and stormy night before he was killed in
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his last speech, which I think was a sort of
premonition of what was going to happen to him: Memphis
Reverend Dr. MARTIN LUTHER KING Jr.: Also,
…In the human rights revolution, if something isn't done and done in a hurry, to bring the colored peoples of the world out of their long years of poverty, their long years of hurt and neglect, the whole world is doomed.
Now, I'm just happy that God has allowed me to live in this period, to see what is unfolding. And I'm happy that He's allowed me to be in
Let us stand with a greater determination. And letus move on in these powerful days, these days of challenge to make
what it ought to be. We have an opportunity to make America
a better nation. And I want to thank God once more for allowing me to be here
with you. America
You know, several years ago, I was in
, autographing the first book that I had
written. While sitting there autographing books, a black woman came up. The
only question I heard from her was, are you Martin Luther King? New
And I was looking down writing, and I said, yes. The next minute I felt something beating on my chest. Before I knew it, I had been stabbed by this demented woman. I was rushed to
. It was a dark Saturday
afternoon. That blade had gone through, and the X-rays revealed that the tip of
the blade was on the edge of my aorta, the main artery. And once that's
punctured, you drown in your own blood, that's the end of you. Harlem
It came out in the New York Times the next morning that if I had merely sneezed, I would have died. Well, about four days later they allowed me, after the operation, they allowed me to read some of the mail that came in, and I'll never forget it. It said simply, Dear Dr. King, I am a ninth-grade student at the
. She said, while it
should not matter, I would like to mention that I am a white girl. I read in
the paper of your misfortune and of your suffering. And I read that if you had
sneezed, you would have died. And I'm simply writing you to say that I'm so
happy that you didn't sneeze. Whites Plains
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 tp 1960, when students all over the South started sitting-in at lunch counters. And I knew that, as they were sitting in, they were really standing up for the best in the American dream and taking the whole nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the Founding Fathers in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
If I had sneezed, I wouldn't have been around here to 1961, when we decided to take a ride for freedom and ended segregation and interstate travel.
If I had sneezed, I wouldn't have been around here in 1962, when Negroes in
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. Albany, Georgia
If I had sneezed - if I had sneezed, I wouldn't have been here in 1963. Black people of
aroused the conscience of this nation and brought into being the Civil Rights
Bill. Birmingham, Alabama
If I had sneezed, I wouldn't have had a chance later that year, in August, to try to tell
about a dream that I had had. If I had sneezed, I wouldn't have been down in America to see the great movement there. Selma,
If I had sneezed, I wouldn't have been in
to see a community rally around those brothers and sisters who are suffering.
I'm so happy that I didn't sneeze. Memphis
And they were telling me, now it doesn't matter, now. It really doesn't matter what happens now. I left
this morning and then I got into Atlanta .
And some began to say the threats or talk about the threats that were out, or
what would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers. Memphis
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.