Monday, January 21, 2013

Martin Luther King and the War on Poverty

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with President Lyndon B. Johnson
On the day where the United States celebrates the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., it seems appropriate to remember his legacy through highlighting his lesser known campaign against poverty.  Following an era that witnessed Dr. King winning the Nobel Peace Prize and leading the civil rights movement in the 1960s, he turned his attention squarely upon economic inequality prior to his assassination.  In the last few years of his life, Dr. King implored the nation and those in power to allow, even provide, equal opportunity for all.

From Dedrick Muhammed's article "The Economic Lessons of Martin Luther King" we see that:  "In fact, in the last year of his life, Dr. King was organizing the Poor People's Campaign, a multiracial effort to alleviate poverty and provide guaranteed income for every citizen. King understood that without greater economic equality, racial disparities and divisions could not be overcome."  Muhammed notes further that "[d]uring Dr. King's famed speech at the March on Washington for Freedom and Jobs, he stated, 'We refuse to believe there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation.' One of the great economic lessons Dr. King has for us all is this: The road to prosperity requires of us faith, struggle, sacrifice, and investment, particularly for the most vulnerable."

In 2012, the Corporate Justice Blog detailed Dr. King's influence and call for equal opportunity and economic equality.

MLK Dreamed of Economic Equality

MLK's Vision of Social Justice

"King" of All Nations

As we are inspired today by MLK's messages of social equality, it is just as important to remember that economic justice and equality of opportunity were just as significant a part of his life and legacy.

Happy MLK Day.

[photo is in the public domain]

No comments:

Post a Comment