Magazine January 24, 2022, Issue

What, to the Founders, Were America’s Slaves?

Martin Luther King Jr. at the March on Washington, August 28, 1963 (Bettmann/Contributor/Getty Images)
Redeeming the ‘promissory note’

On August 28, 1963, at the climax of the March on Washington, Martin Luther King Jr. spoke from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. The speech he delivered blended different materials — new, old, preacherly improvisation — and a variety of themes. He called for equal voting rights nationwide, and for liberal social policies. “We cannot be satisfied as long as a colored person in Mississippi cannot vote and a colored person in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote.” He iterated his commitment to nonviolence, as if he foresaw the gangsters and visionary crackpots who would

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This article appears as “Redeeming the ‘Promissory Note’” in the January 24, 2022, print edition of National Review.

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In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners


The Week

The Week

Donald Trump is pretty sensible about Covid vaccination, which puts him on the outs with the talk-radio/cable-news consensus.


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