On this Martin Luther King Day, listen to Patty Griffin’s musical tribute.

January 21, 2013

Patty Griffin sings “Up to the Mountain” (MLK Tribute)
Singer-songwriter Patty Griffin based this song on the haunting sentiments and imagery in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s final speech, the “Mountaintop Speech,” which was delivered to a packed church in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 3, 1968, the night before his assassination. King had gone to Memphis to support the sanitation workers who were on strike, protesting their low wages and deplorable working conditions (described here by two of the sanitation workers). You can also read or listen to a brief 2008 NPR story providing further background on the events surrounding the Mountaintop Speech.

Letha Dawson Scanzoni
Letha Dawson Scanzoni (1935-2024) was an independent scholar, writer, and editor, and the author or coauthor of nine books. In 1978, she and Virginia Ramey Mollenkott wrote Is the Homosexual My Neighbor?, one of the earliest books urging evangelical Christians to rethink their views on homosexuality (updated edition, 1994, HarperOne). More recently, Letha coauthored (with social psychologist David G. Myers) What God Has Joined Together: The Christian Case for Gay Marriage (HarperOne, 2005 and 2006). Another of Letha’s most well-known books is All We’re Meant to Be: Biblical Feminism for Today, coauthored with Nancy A. Hardesty (Word Books, 1974; revised edition, Abingdon, 1986; updated and expanded edition, Eerdmans, 1992). Letha served as editor of Christian Feminism Today in both its former print edition (EEWC Update) and its website for 19 years until her retirement in December 2013.


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