The Poor People’s Campaign first announced on December 4, 1967 by Martin Luther King, Jr., resumes today, exactly fifty years later, with an event at the Howard Theatre in Washington, D.C.
Watch the official launch video below. Visit The Poor People’s Campaign website for more information and to join the movement. It’s time to tackle the unfinished business of rampant inequality that King first addressed fifty years ago, and with so many in Congress intent on exacerbating the transfer of wealth from the middle class and poor to the rich, we can no longer afford to wait.
Visit the campaign’s Facebook page for updates and coverage of this evening’s event. Continue reading below for MLK Jr’s original announcement.
Click hyperlink above to view the video at its source.
From Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival
50 years ago, on December 4, 1967, the Rev Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. announced plans for a Poor People’s Campaign and called on the nation to take dramatic steps to end poverty and combat inequality. This multi-racial organizing effort and the dream of a fairer nation was assassinated along with Dr. King four months later to the day, on April 4, 1968.
Today, nearly 50 years later, we are again living in a time of profound crisis in the United States. The country is mired in domestic poverty, economic insecurity and pervasive racial/gender inequality. On December 4, 2017 in Washington DC, SANKOFA.ORG will take over the Howard Theatre honoring the civil rights movement and the emergence of a new energy for a moral revival, along with The Kairos Center, Repairers Of The Breach, Ben and Jerry’s, The Campaign For Black Male Achievement, and multiple artists including Aloe Blacc, Sweet Honey In The Rock, J. Period and a special performance by Maxwell. This concert affirmation coincides with the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s initial 1967 Campaign Call. It will be a night of reflection, inspiration and an opportunity for action.
To economic, social, and criminal justice leaders of today, it is becoming as clear as it was to Dr. King nearly fifty years ago, that such pervasive and structural inequity cannot and will not be countered by any single person or specific struggle alone. A new fusion movement has emerged, that intersects affected people fighting back for their lives.
Nearly half of the US population is poor or low-income and 1 in 7 people live below the federal poverty line. Half of all children will qualify for food stamps before they turn 18, including 9 out of 10 African Americans. Millions live with the consequences of inadequate healthcare, housing, food, education, and employment, and with criminal justice and immigration systems that discriminate against people of color, perpetuate racial, ethnic and gender oppression, and penalize poor people, denying millions access to safety, equality and justice.
“The dispossessed of this nation — the poor, both white and Negro — live in a cruelly unjust society. They must organize a revolution against the injustice, not against the lives of the persons who are their fellow citizens, but against the structures through which the society is refusing to take means which have been called for, and which are at hand, to lift the load of poverty.”
– Martin Luther King Jr., Massey Lectures, December, 1967
The original Poor People’s Campaign announcement of December 4, 1967