Uncommon WOD – 012119

MLK “Up to the Mountain” (The final speech of Dr.King April 3rd, 1968)

In teams of 2

5 Rounds (Number of days to march from Selma, AL to Montgomery, AL)

54 Calorie Row (Number of miles marched between the above cities)

35 Sandbag box step-ups (Age of Dr. King when he was chosen as the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize)

39 Burpees (Age of Dr. King when he was assassinated)

40 Minute time cap

I have read many of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speeches over the years. His message of forgiveness and non-violence in the face of such hate has always been a guiding force in my life. I have been particularly drawn to Dr. Kings final speech given just one day before his assassination. This is not one of his most well known speeches, mostly because it deals with a very specific issue, the sanitation workers strike in Memphis 1968. However it is an important speech for me because I am interested to hear the heart of this leader in his final days. Particularly because Dr. King knew that going to Memphis, for a second time, was a very dangerous decision. When President Kennedy was killed in 1963 Dr. King told his wife “This is what’s going to happen to me, I keep telling you, this is a sick society.” Yet he still went to Memphis and still gave this speech to 2,000 people the day before his death. I would encourage you to read this speech in its entirety. We stand here today in a world in turmoil but we stand in the shadow of great women and men who have given us a path to freedom for all people. In this speech we see the path to peace and freedom and it is through unity. So today as you perform this workout understand that we have the rights we have because people such as Dr. King were willing to stand for what was right in the face of certain death. In 1956 his house was bombed and he marched on, in 1958 he was stabbed and almost died, he marched on, in 1963 he was attacked on stage, and yet he marched on. To be driven so completely, to be certain of your death, yet you march on for the betterment of lives to come. That is Uncommon.

”Now, it doesn’t matter, now. It really doesn’t matter what happens now. I left Atlanta this morning, and as we got started on the plane, there were six of us. The pilot said over the public address system, “We are sorry for the delay, but we have Dr. Martin Luther King on the plane. And to be sure that all of the bags were checked, and to be sure that nothing would be wrong with on the plane, we had to check out everything carefully. And we’ve had the plane protected and guarded all night.”

And then I got into Memphis. And some began to say the threats, or talk about the threats that were out. What would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers?

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!“ An excerpt from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s final speech.

author: Jacob Watts


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