The Poor People's Movement

Black History month may be over, but the impacts of its history affect people from generation to generation at all times of the year. Many people note Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King for his “I Have a Dream” speech that spoke to the hearts of million. Dr. King’s dream extended far beyond people of different races being able to exist in the same spaces.

His dream included the abolishment of poverty and more chance for fair opportunities of social and economic growth for all individuals. The campaign that sticks out concerning Dr. King’s work towards fair economic growth is the Poor People’s Campaign.

 

This campaign started in 1968 and fought for education, fair wages, and insurance for people who could not afford it. The participants in the campaign believed that these were basic rights and all people deserved a chance to live a healthy, comfortable, and fulfilled life. Participants came from a variety of backgrounds including African-American, White-American, Native-American, and Puerto Rican.

 

The leaders of the movement grounded their ideology in their morals. They challenged systematic injustice, unfair advantage, and environmental exploitation through civil disobedience and political appeal.

 

After Dr. King’s death in 1968, the movement continued to grow and fight for change. People in and out of the campaign understand that poverty is an issue and people are suffering from insecurity from food, housing, and support. Today, the movement is focusing on national security/ militarism, “national morality,” the environment, and the violence of poverty.