50 years ago tonight, MLK gave his final speech. His wisdom still brings us to tears.

He died earlier than he should have, but his life changed this nation, and the world, forever.

Preacher. Activist. Martyr. Liberator. Genius. Organizer. Humanitarian. Father. Husband. Human. Martin Luther King Jr. was all of those and then some.

Photo by Reg Lancaster/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

The charismatic world-changer was assassinated at just 39 years old on April 4, 1968. Having survived a stabbing attack, death threats, time in prison, and brutal threats and unethical surveillance from the FBI, King died with a heart that was in the state of a 60-year-old's.    


But it's not King's death that should be remembered. It's the incredible life he led and how he shaped civil rights, activism, and what it's like to be black in modern America.

On the night before King's death, he gave what would be his last speech in Memphis, Tennessee. Clearly worn by years of fighting injustice at one of the most racist and violent times in American history, King gave a resounding speech to a crowd of more than 2,500 people about the burdensome but necessary fight toward quality and justice for all. The last two minutes of the 40-minute speech are utterly incredible.

In his last speech, King makes it clear that the journey to equality is still long but worth it. Below are some of the most memorable quotes from that April night that we can apply today.  

Photo by William Lovelace/Express/Getty Images.

1. "It means that we've got to stay together. We've got to stay together and maintain unity."

King spent his life preaching the benefit of working together instead of apart. He believed in the power of unity and peace in the face of injustice. King wanted black people to stick together and for humans to reach across the aisle to help one another.

2. "We aren't going to let any mace stop us. We are masters in our non-violent movement in disarming police forces; they don't know what to do."

Police brutality has been a disturbing issue that has plagued black communities for years. Using tactics, such as tear gas, hosing down women and children, and training dogs to attack black people in peaceful protests, the relationship between police and black people has long been fraught. One must only look to the Birmingham civil rights protest of 1963 or the 1965 march on Selma to find examples of brutal treatment from police.

Still, King believed we could live above that. Brutality, murders, and ignorance wouldn't stop freedom. Our society could do better.

3. "Maybe I could understand the denial of certain basic First Amendment privileges because they hadn't committed themselves to that over there. But somewhere I read of the freedom of assembly. Somewhere I read of the freedom of speech. Somewhere I read of the freedom of press. Somewhere I read that the greatness of America is the right to protest for right. ... We aren't going to let any injunction turn us around. We are going on."

At one point in American history, African-Americans counted as three-fifths of a person. In spite of a Constitution that declared freedom for all men, Founding Fathers who claimed to believe in freedom for all men, and a country that framed itself as a place where anyone could catch their dreams, black people were exempt and often attacked for attempting to do so for years. King wasn't going to accept this.

The Declaration of Independence states, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness." Martin Luther King Jr. believed this statement should apply to black people, and he fought for that into his last days.  

Photo by Central Press/Getty Images.

4. "And when we have our march, you need to be there. If it means leaving work, if it means leaving school — be there. Be concerned about your brother. You may not be on strike. But either we go up together, or we go down together. Let us develop a kind of dangerous unselfishness."

King was many things, but one of his most prominent qualities was his giving nature and determination to fight for all. As such, his point about unselfishness, especially when it's inconvenient, is extremely indicative of his character and representative of how humanity can succeed today.  

Activism isn't always clean, convenient, or comfortable. But it is necessary for true changes.

When we step into someone else's shoes or put someone's needs before our own, we create spaces that aren't just for us. We include and uplift everyone.

In the last few minutes of King's speech, it's almost as if King was aware of the inevitable death that awaited him.

"Like anybody, I would like to live a long life," King said. "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!"

Photo by  William Lovelace/Express/Getty Images.

King didn't promise that he'd never leave, but he did promise that the "promised land" — his version of "freedom" — was possible for all black people.  But too often, King's words are misconstrued to only support peace and not radical protest (even if it made others uncomfortable) — an erasure of what he actually stood for.  

We can better remember and honor King's life by listening to what he had to say, his support for radical societal changes that would create equality and freedom for black Americans.

While King himself may be gone, his work and ideology are pervasive in American life and activism today. As attacks mount against black people, Muslims, immigrant communities, and LGBTQ communities across the nation, King's dedication to peace, belief in a world that is fair to everyone, and unwavering support of being better together than we are apart is more relevant to the American dream than ever.        

Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed on April 4, 1968. "I Have Been to the Mountaintop" was his final public speech. You can listen to the full speech below and read the transcript here.

More
Youtube

Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

Cities

The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

Most Shared
via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

Keep Reading Show less
Family