WATCH: ON THE LEGACY OF MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.

Nothing would be more tragic than to turn back now.

In his last sermon, on the evening before he was shot down outside the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, that was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s message to us all.

We remember his words as the Mountaintop sermon, but they were actually a call to action to go deep into the valley of poverty and racism. Dr. King was headed to the nation’s capital with many others to address the triple threat of racism, poverty and militarism—evils that persist today and are threatening our democracy.

Watch my speech from Memphis today and do your part by signing up to declare you will NOT turn back now.

What he said then is what we must do now. In the face of racist voter suppression laws, we must not turn back. When immigrants’ basic rights are trampled upon, we must not turn back. And when people are denied health care, living wages and access to clean water in the richest nation in the world, we must not turn back.

You dishonor the movement and a prophet if you just remember the prophet without having a revival of the movement he stood for.

In 40 states across the country the poor and disenfranchised and moral leaders are leading that revival and declaring, “we will not turn back now.” We are joining together in the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival and preparing for a season of nonviolent moral direct action beginning next month.

Watch my speech from Memphis today and then declare you won’t turn back by signing up to join the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. 

We cannot keep celebrating and commemorating and remembering what was done, then abdicate our responsibility to do all that needs to be done now.

No turning back,
The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II