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Martin Luther King, Jr. and the "Poor People's Campaign"
Calling it his “last, greatest dream,” Martin Luther King Jr. (1929–1968) declared his intention to launch a broad-based effort to secure economic justice for the nation’s poor. During a press conference held on December 4, 1967, at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, King revealed initial plans for an extended campaign of mass civil disobedience in Washington, D.C., that would cross racial boundaries to bring together thousands of people living in poverty.
“This will be no mere one-day march in Washington,” he declared, “but a trek to the nation’s capital by suffering and outraged citizens who will stay until some definite and positive action is taken to provide jobs and income for the poor.” Led by King and sponsored by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the “Poor People’s Campaign” was slated to begin on April 22, 1968, but was delayed after King traveled to Memphis, where he was slain by a gunman on April 4.
George Tames, 1968
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