It is impossible for a chicken to produce a duck egg—even though they both belong to the same family of fowl ... It can only produce according to what that particular system was constructed to produce. The system in this country cannot produce freedom for an Afro-American. It is impossible for this system, this economic system, this political system, this social system, this system period ... And if ever a chicken did produce a duck egg, I'm quite sure you would say it was certainly a revolutionary chicken!
I want to say to you ... as we talk about "Where do we go from here," that we must honestly face the fact that the movement must address itself to the question of restructuring the whole of American society ... We must ask the question, "Why are there 40 million poor people in America?" And when you begin to ask that question, you are raising questions about the economic system, about a broader distribution of wealth. When you ask that question, you begin to question the capitalistic economy. And I'm simply saying that more and more, we've got to begin to ask questions about the whole society. We are called upon to help the discouraged beggars in life's marketplace. But one day we must come to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.
—Martin Luther King, Jr.
The year is 1984:
- twenty-nine years since Rosa Park's refusal to give up her seat to a white man on a city bus in Montgomery, Alabama, and the subsequent birth of the contemporary civil rights movement with Martin Luther King, Jr. as its most prominent leader;