Dr. Martin Luther King is one of the greatest communicators of the past century.
This clip is the conclusion of his final speech, given at Mason Temple in Memphis on April 3rd — he was assassinated the next day.
Listen carefully to the language and word choice. He was speaking in support of the striking sanitation workers in Memphis, however as was usually the case when Dr. King spoke, his message was consistent regardless of who he was addressing, and he was always on message.
Dr. King’s use of tempo, inflection and pause during this speech are masterful. It is not possible to sleep through this speech. It was not possible to drift away into another thought if you were watching. It is not possible to walk away indifferent after hearing this speech.
Today we celebrate a great leader, magical orator and historic icon. Dr. King proved many things and accomplished an unbelievable amount, but his timeless oratory teaches a valuable lesson.