…Aren’t we saying, gentlemen, that a program has not yet been worked out to grapple with the magnitude of this problem in the United States both North and South? Isn’t there a need now, because of the urgency and the seriousness of the situation to develop a sort of crash program to lift the standards of the Negro and to get rid of the underlying conditions that produce so many social evils and develop so many social problems? Dr. King added: …I think we’ve got to face the fact in this country that because of the legacy of slavery and segregation, and the seeds of injustice planted in the past, we have this harvest of confusion now, and we are going to continue to have it until we get to the root of the problem.
One of the legacies of slavery which few seem sensitive to is that it stripped Black Americans of the kind of informal savings traditions that one will discover among virtually every other ethnic immigrant group in this country – whether it is the ‘partner’ in Jamaican culture; the ‘gye’ among Koreans; the ‘committee’ among Indians; or the ‘hui’ among Chinese. The civil rights movement did not attend to the matter of cultural finance. By focusing on wages but not how to accumulate them, years of compounded returns, loans, and investments which could have begun to circulate in the bloodstream of Black America’s impoverished urban and rural areas, did not. And there can be no capital gain without capital formed.