Martin Luther King, Jr. Money Quote saying in his ‘I have a Dream’ speech on August 28, 1963 that it’s time to cash the check that the constitution and freedom promises for security and justice. Martin Luther King, Jr. said:
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In this quote, Martin Luther King Jr. is referring metaphorically to the unfulfilled promise of equality and justice for Black Americans that was embodied in the Emancipation Proclamation and the Constitution. He describes the civil rights movement as an effort to finally “cash this check” and demand payment on the wealth of liberties and fair treatment that should have been guaranteed to all citizens regardless of race.
By marching and engaging in nonviolent protest, King believed African Americans were exercising their right to access the “riches of freedom and security of justice” that the nation owed them but had not yet delivered fully.
The quote conveys King’s view that Black Americans would no longer passively accept political and social inequities, but rather were determined to redeem the nation’s debt of justice and make the country honor its founding principles of liberty and equal protection under the law for all people.