The fact that 100 years after the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect the United States of America had continued to fail to ensure equality of rights and opportunities for its African American citizens was not lost on Martin Luther King, Jr. As, on August 28, 1963, he stood before the national memorial to Abraham Lincoln and addressed tens of thousands of civil rights supporters and labor activists, Rev. King paid homage to Lincoln's efforts, but emphasized throughout his speech the shortcomings that remained. Noting that a century had passed since the Emancipation Proclamation had been put into effect, King noted the following:
"But 100 years later the Negro still is not free. One-hundred years later the life of the Negro is still badly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination."
King chose his words carefully. By using the vocabulary of slavery--manacles and chains--he was drawing a direct link from the crimes of the past to the injustices of...
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