Martin Luther King, Jr. speaks to the crowd (Modified)
Some of the language and phrasing in this document has been modified from the original.
Head Note: At this Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA) weekly meeting, King speaks to the crowd.
Democracy gives us this right to protest and that is all we are doing. We can say honestly that we have not advocated violence, have not practiced it, and have gone courageously on with a Christian movement. Ours is a spiritual movement depending on moral and spiritual fortitude. The protest is still going on. (Great deal of applause here)
Freedom doesnít come on a silver platter. With every great movement toward freedom there will inevitably be trials. Somebody will have to have the courage to sacrifice. You donít get to the Promised Land without going through the Wilderness. You donít get there without crossing over hills and mountains, but if you keep on keeping on, you canít help but reach it. We wonít all see it, but itís coming and itís because God is for it.
We wonít back down. We are going on with our movement.
Let us continue with the same spirit, with the same orderliness, with the same discipline, with the same Christian approach. I believe that God is using Montgomery as his proving ground. God be praised for you, for your loyalty, for your determination. God bless you and keep you, and may God be with us as we go on.
Source: Excerpts from a speech by Martin Luther King, Jr., as reported by Anna Holden, a teacher at Fisk University. March 22, 1956. Montgomery, Alabama.