Quotation by Martin Luther King, Jr.

We were here before the mighty words of the Declaration of Independence were etched across the pages of history. Our forebears labored without wages. They made cotton "king." And yet out of a bottomless vitality, they continued to thrive and develop. If the cruelties of slavery could not stop us, the opposition we now face will surely fail.... Because the goal of America is freedom, abused and scorned tho' we may be, our destiny is tied up with America's destiny.
Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929–1968), U.S. clergyman, civil rights leader. Letter, April 1963, from Birmingham Jail, Alabama.

The last sentence of this extract echoes a speech by abolitionist Frederick Douglass, February 12, 1862, in Boston: "The destiny of the colored American ... is the destiny of America."
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