“When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, the were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir…America has defaulted on this promissory note in so far as her citizens of color are concerned.”
Speech at Civil Rights March, Washington, D.C., 28 August 1963
Excerpted from: Shapiro, Fred, ed. The Yale Book of Quotations. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006.