Martin Luther King’s Last Speech

Number 14 of 74 in C1/2 - ADVANCED+

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Listen to this last, prophetic speech by Martin Luther King, the day before his assasination. This listening is ADVANCED due to its complexity, sound quality and length. You will later be able to read the transcript.


1. ‘Something is happening in Memphis- somthing is happening in the world’ begins the speech, before Martin Luther King mentions a hypothetical situation, standing at the beginning of time ‘with a general, panoramic view of history’ and being asked a question by The Almighty- What is that question?

2. MLK mentions times and places in the past he would travel to- What are they?

a) The flight of the Israelites from Egypt to the Promised Land

3. MLK says that he would ask The Almighty permission to stay in the second half of the twentieth century, but what does he say about the situation in his time?
´The world is all ___________________________, the nation is ____________________’?

4. According to MLK, the choice is not between violence and non-violence, but…..?

5. King is in Memphis to denounce the Memphis authorities- What does he specifically accuse them of? What does he warn his supporters against, and why?

6. He later recalls the ‘majestic struggle’ in Alabama. Who was ‘Bull’ Connell and what did he use to do?

7. MLK calls for economic withdrawal (boycott) on what companies?
a) __________________ in Memphis
b) Sealtest ____________________
c) Wonder ______________________
d) Hart’s ______________________

8. King mentions a time he was signing books in New York- what happened?

9. ‘I am so happy that I didn’t sneeze!’ Why? What has this got to do with the Civil Rights Movement?

10. This speech has often been commented on its prophetic nature, as if Martin Luther King knew of his impending death. What things does he mention to provoke these rumours? What does he say about the possibility of his assasination?

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