It’s time to finish King’s work on poverty
Written by Solomon Jones on January 18, 2016
I have often thought that Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy is woefully incomplete. We celebrate him as an almost mythical figure whose sole purpose was to eradicate racial injustice.
King, if he were alive, would beg to differ with that assessment, because he fought for far more than racial equality. He fought to dismantle the very system upon which racial segregation was built and maintained. He fought to eradicate poverty.
Toward the end of his life, King realized that the moral high ground could be a lonely place, if it was built upon a hill of poverty.
So he began to assemble the Poor People’s Campaign.
“The problem of unemployment is not the only problem,” King said in a speech in Grosse Point, Michigan, a month before his death. “There is a problem of underemployment, and there are thousands and thousands, I would say millions of people in the Negro community who are poverty-stricken – not because they are not working, but because they receive wages so low that they cannot begin to function in the main stream of the economic life of our nation.”
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Tagged as civil rights criminal justice dr king jr I Have A Dream legacy Letter From A Birmingham Jail martin luther king jr mlk MLK Day Poor People's Campaign poverty social justice