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(The Brookings Institution) – ‘We have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. … It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.” But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt.’
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said these words during his infamous “I Have a Dream” speech. But these words are rarely the ones included in discussions about his speech. People seem to not realize that in order to get to the “Promised Land” where “little Black boys and girls will be holding hands with little white boys and girls,” Black Americans must be made whole in the form of repayment for the injustices committed against a disenfranchised and marginalized group of people.
Andre Perry and I laid out a reparations agenda that is a 21st century New Deal of sorts to provide restitution to the descendants of enslaved Black people and fulfill the promissory note that Dr. King discussed regarding the restoration of true liberty and justice for all in our nation. We suggest a community collective model for reparations that must include…