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Sun Jan 19, 2020, 03:15 PM

Commentary: Continuing King's final campaign against poverty

By Jessicah Pierre / For OtherWords.org

As we celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, itís natural to remember his courageous advocacy for racial equity. But before he was assassinated, King had also begun to broaden his efforts to unify working people around economic justice.

Thatís worth remembering today.

In December 1967, King, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and other conveners laid out their vision for the first Poor Peopleís Campaign. Seeing how poverty cut across race and geography, these leaders built the campaign into a multiracial effort including African Americans, white Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans aimed at alleviating poverty for all.

The goal was to lead a massive protest in Washington D.C., demanding that Congress prioritize a massive anti-poverty package that included, among other things, a commitment to full employment, a guaranteed annual income and more low-income housing. And they wanted to pay for it by ending the Vietnam War.



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