Question 9/ GED Social Studies Practice Test

Question 9 of 25


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Read the following passage from Martin Luther’s “I Have a Dream” speech:

“…Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity….But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free….

In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. 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.”

What does Martin Luther’s mean when he says the check has come back with “insufficient funds”?

A. All people are guaranteed rights by the constitution
B. The slaves were freed a hundred years ago, but still are not free
C. Citizens of color were not given the same “unalienable Rights” of “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” that the Constitution and Declaration of Independence declare for all Americans
D. They were given a bad check.