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Martin Luther King's Biblical EpicHis Final, Great Speech$
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Keith D. Miller

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781617031083

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781617031083.001.0001

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date: 16 December 2017

And Then I Got into Memphis

And Then I Got into Memphis

Chapter:
(p.2) (p.3) Introduction And Then I Got into Memphis
Source:
Martin Luther King's Biblical Epic
Author(s):

Keith D. Miller

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781617031083.003.0001

This book examines Martin Luther King Jr.’s final speech and possibly his greatest, “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop,” delivered at Mason Temple in Memphis on the night of April 3, 1968, in front of thousands of African American garbage workers on strike. It analyzes King’s use of the Bible in support of the striking blue-collar garbage workers in Memphis, arguing that this biblical hermeneutic enables him to reconfigure a labor dispute and an entire city. The book also suggests that the speech was made for the purpose of analyzing local, national, and international race relations and cheering workers in Memphis. Furthermore, it explores the setting for King’s final speech—Mason Temple—before concluding with a discussion of King’s rhetorical relationship with Judaism and his contention that it serves as the secure and indispensable foundation for Christianity.

Keywords:   speech, Martin Luther King, Mason Temple, Memphis, garbage workers, strike, Bible, Judaism, Christianity

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