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43rd Anniversary of Martin Luther King's 'Beyond Vietnam' Speech

By Martin Luther King Jr. 
Originally published by Vietnam magazine. Published Online: April 01, 2010 
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John C. Goodwin stood in the empty baptismal of Riverside Church to take this photograph of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., delivering his 'Beyond Vietnam' speech. Courtesy John C. Goodwin.
John C. Goodwin stood in the empty baptismal of Riverside Church to take this photograph of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., delivering his 'Beyond Vietnam' speech. Courtesy John C. Goodwin.

On the evening of April 4, 1967, civil rights leader Martin Luther King lent his full-throated oratory to a growing chorus of opposition to the rapidly expanding American role in the Vietnam War. King's sharp rebuke of U.S. policy and call to protest brought him into direct conflict with President Lyndon Johnson, who was an ally of King's in the struggle for equal rights for African Americans.

From the pulpit of New York's Riverside Church, King eloquently speaks of breaking "the betrayal of my own silences" and goes on to reveal the "seven major reasons for bringing Vietnam into the field of my moral vision."

With this pivotal address, the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize winner sought to bridge the movement for civil rights and justice to the antiwar movements: "I cannot forget that the Nobel Prize for Peace was also a commission—a commission to work harder than I had ever worked before for 'the brotherhood of man.'"

One year later, April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis.
(Embedded YouTube audio is from the Alternative Radio network.








One Response to “43rd Anniversary of Martin Luther King's 'Beyond Vietnam' Speech”

  1. 1
    Angie Fran says:

    Tomorrow, 4/4/10, is also the 42nd Anniversary of Dr. King's Assassination – He Was Slain While In Midst of Poor People's Campaign

    In his memory, take the “King Challenge” – Can you take to
    heart the words he spoke just 4 days before he was gunned

    read it online here and see: (middle of page, right after Dr. King’s photo)

    Download the free 2-sided “King Challenge” flyer here:

    or email me for a copy here

    This flyer has excerpts of a sermon Dr. King gave just 4 days
    before his death and it discusses global and u.s. poverty then, and flyer also has information about it now 42 years later – when we still
    need a poor people's campaign!! Dr. King was speaking about the
    most pressing problems facing humanity. Nobody talks about this today.
    This is the stuff that SHOULD be on the front page of our newspapers,
    but isn't. Please take this opportunity to remember what's important -
    and to remind others also (by distributing flyer or otherwise). Thanks for your time.

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