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Looking At The Larger Context of MLK's 'Mountaintop'

New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection

Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "Mountaintop" speech from Memphis is famous for its ending and because he was assassinated the next day. However, much of the speech doesn't receive a lot of attention today. 

In the first part of Tuesday's Up to Date, we talk about the context of the speech, originally aimed at an audience concerned with the Memphis garbage workers’ strike, with Arizona State University professor Keith D. Miller. We'll also look at how it showcases King's ideas of theology.

HEAR MORE: Keith D. Miller speaks at Community Christian Church at 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 19 at a joint service with Swope Parkway United Christian Church and All Souls Unitarian Church. Admission is $6.

Keith D. Miller is a professor of English at Arizona State University.  He began researching Martin Luther King, Jr. while writing his dissertation in 1983, when he interviewed Martin Luther King, Sr., at his church in Atlanta. His books include Voice of Deliverance: The Language of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Its Sources and Martin Luther King’s Biblical Epic: His Final, Great Speech.  



When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.