The right to the pursuit of happiness and the guarantee of the inalienable rights of life have not always been a luxury that every American citizen has been able to take full advantage of. Over the years, a constant battle has taken place to ensure that all Americans, regardless of age, race, or sex, are guaranteed this right. Dr. Martin Luther King set the foundation in the fight for equal rights. Dr. King spoke on numerous occasions advocating the need to stop separation of races to better the future of an equal and fair America. "I Have A Dream" is a famous speech that approached every desire and ideal he sought for through the civil rights movement. Dr. King represented every victim of discrimination, and spoke to reach satisfaction in the fact that one day all humans will be seen and treated equally as they are seen in the eyes of God.
The signing of the Emancipation Proclamation lifted the souls of Negroes that suffered through slavery. Hope, happiness, and the right to live freely were to be accompanied with the signing of the proclamation. Pain and hundreds or years of discrimination and segregation were the only aspirations that followed. As the promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty , and the pursuit of happiness were issued in living in America; the colored people of American seemed to not have been included in this promise. Dr. King best described the Negroes place in society by saying, "America has given the Negro people a bad check which has come back marked as "insufficient funds""(King 1). King's reference toward the "bank of justice" as bankrupt showed that America refused to believe and accept the fact that all citizens of the nation were not treated equally and held at the same level of esteem (King 1). Cashing the check of freedom was a process that took place over a period of time. The "bank of justice" was never able to fully give the Negro people of America the full amount of respect, freedom, and rights that they rightfully sought after.