Today, 60 years after the 1963 March on Washington, MBELDEF is launching its new website and announcing our renewed intention to do everything we can to fight for fairness and prosperity for minority-owned businesses and entrepreneurs.
To mark this occasion, we ask you to consider the inspiring words from Dr. King’s speech from 60 years ago, words that are less well-known than the oft-quoted portion about his dream, but words that resonate with minority business owners across the nation:
“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. This note was a promise that all men — yes, Black men as well as white men — would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
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.
We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so we’ve come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.
We have also come to his hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.”