As we prepare ourselves once again to celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I feel as though we’d be remiss to focus so much of our attention on his famous “I Have a Dream” speech and overlook a speech that always gives me a lump in my throat.
There is an excerpt from Dr. King’s final speech, “I Have Been To The Mountaintop,” that is simply known as, “If I Had Sneezed.” It tells a poignant story:
On September 20, 1958, Dr. King was at a store in Harlem signing copies of his first book Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story, when a beautifully dressed woman came in and, without warning, stabbed him in the chest with a very sharp letter opener. It was simply miraculous that it did not prove to be fatal.
As you listen to this excerpt, of course, Dr. King goes through an inventory of everything he had experienced and helped to accomplish over the 10 years since. But, as I intimated, this must be listened to if you want to experience the lump in your throat and the chills up your spine. Not simply read.
So let us celebrate this great man with this excellent montage: