In his speech to the sanitation workers on strike in Memphis TN on April 3, 1968, Dr. King said,
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!
And so I’m happy, tonight.
I’m not worried about anything.
I’m not fearing any man!
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!!
One could ask if Dr. King should have followed his premonition and avoided his death, but because he had seen the glory, that was not an option. He remained the prophet until the end. I am grateful for his commitment and courage and for that of all leaders and workers of the Civil Rights movement in an era which meted out dire consequences to conscience-sayers.