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“If I had sneezed” – April 3th 1968, Mason Temple, Memphis, TN

If Martin Luther King had sneezed, oh if he would have sneezed, You see He was stabbed by a demented woman, and the knife came within an inch,

Within an inch of his aorta, the main artery… And once that one is punctured you’re all messed up and that’s the end of you[i],

The X-rays revealed that if He had nearly sneezed, the fate of His life would have been a different story.

And aren’t we glad that He didn’t sneeze.

Because if He had sneezed;

We wouldn’t dreaming and living for a kingdom in which injustice committed against any man or woman, is an injustice against all humanity and creation,

If He had sneezed;

Young blacks and whites would not be able to stand side by side in this country and sing songs of praise and worship to our ancestors and creators,

If He had sneezed;

Decades of hate and misdirected blame would have riddled so many people as we try to cure the sicknesses of our world,

Oh if he would have sneezed;

Our children would not have heard the great words of a worrying president, saying that we have nothing to fear but fear itself![ii]

And so to all who may be worried about our future as people, just know that there is a reason that He didn’t sneeze, there is a reason such hope and higher thinking is present here among us even in the darkest times; that is because we truly don’t know anything but our own purpose here on this earth. So in this season of lent, season of life; straighten up your back, live for something to die for, because as the honorable reverend said on this day:

“a man can’t ride your back unless it is bent”

-‘ I Have Been to The Mountain Top’ speech, Martin Luther King Jr, April 3, 1968.


[i] “I’ve been to the mountain top” MLK, April 3, 1968

[ii] “I’ve been to the mountain top” MLK, April 3, 1968

IzoIsmael (Iso) Tidjani  is a 2013 graduate of Xavier University, Energy Educator, and storyteller. The CFJ is proud to have been apart of Iso’s life during his time as an XU Student.