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poor means us The History, Legacy, & Continuing Importance of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Poor People’s Campaign


poor means us The History, Legacy, & Continuing Importance of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Poor People’s Campaign


POOR MEANS US Copyleft (please credit), 2019 Are Not Books & Publications arenotbooks.com Written, designed, and illustrated by the students of Applied Graphic Design (ARTS 4375), at the University of Mary HardinBaylor, Belton, Texas: Kayla Bacos, Jessica Degollado, Samantha Juarez, Chriscina Lampkin, Mikala Mulligan, Maggii Rodriguez, and Gabrielle Shbeir.


TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. 2. 3. 4.

Historical Background................................. 7 Dr. King’s Civil Rights Campaign............ 11 Dr. King’s Poor People’s Campaign......... 13 The Poor People’s Campaign Today.......... 17


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HISTORICAL BACKGROUND “Jim Crow” laws were enacted all over the United States to keep freed slaves oppressed. Former slaves won their freedom in the 1860s & 70s, but under Jim Crow, they were segregated from their fellow citizens, facing constant discrimination until the mid-1960s. Many Jim Crow laws also applied to other people of color, such as Native, Hispanic, and Asian American citizens. According to the Constitution, a citizen is entitled to the protection of the government, including protecting the citizen’s right to vote, freedom of expression, and the right to pursue “life, liberty, and happiness.” These rights were infringed under Jim Crow laws.

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HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

Under Jim Crow, interracial marriage and adoption were made illegal, schools were segregated by race, and voting was restricted (exams were required, poll taxes were enforced, and the race of American citizens was listed on ballots). Public transportation, hotels, theaters, restaurants, barber shops, and hospitals were all segregated. The Ku Klux Klan advertised itself as a political group for white supremacy. Identified by their pointed white hoods, the KKK terrorized people of color with extreme violence, cross burnings, lynchings, and intimidation.

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HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

The Confederate flag remains a symbol of hate, left over from the Civil War. The Confederacy fought to keep slavery legal, ultimately losing to the Union. Some may argue that the flag is a neutral relic of the past, but it is a grim reminder of what many wanted, and what could have been. The flag symbolically contradicts the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution (1870), the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

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THE MONTGOMERY 10 BUS BOYCOTT


MARTN LUTHER KING JR’S CIVIL RIGHTS CAMPAIGN In 1955, after Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a racially segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama, the NAACP invited Martin Luther King Jr. to lead the Montgomery bus boycott. The boycott resulted in the city lifting the Jim Crow law mandating segregated public transportation. In Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court decided that Jim Crow laws segregating schools were unconstitutional. Throughout the 1950s and 60s, Dr. King continued to work for change through nonviolent resistance. In 1963, during the March on Washington, he gave his “I Have a Dream” speech. A year later, in 1964, President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, and in 1965, the Voting Rights Act.

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Illustration or Graphics (?), etc.

THE POOR PEOPLE’S CAMPAIGN OF 1967

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MARTIN LUTHER KING JR’S POOR PEOPLE’S CAMPAIGN After the Civil Rights & Voting Rights Acts became law in 1965, Martin Luther King Jr. began work on the Poor People’s Campaign. Begun in 1967, through the work of sixty ministers and civil rights leaders affiliated with the Southern Christian leadership Conference (SCLC), the goal of the Poor People’s Campaign was to redeem the soul of America through nonviolent action. Policies pursued include unemployment insurance, a minimum wage, and education for poor adults and children.

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THE POOR PEOPLE’S CAMPAIGN OF 1967

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THE POOR PEOPLE’S CAMPAIGN OF 1967 A nationwide march on Washington was planned for April 22, 1968. The goal was to focus the nation’s attention on poverty, and to pressure Congress to address it. Demonstrators created Resurrection City, a giant tent city on the Washington Mall. They planned to occupy Resurrection City until their demands were met. Sadly, in April of 1968, Dr. King was assassinated.

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A NATIONAL CALL FOR MORAL REVIVAL

An invitation to be active!

MORAL REVIVAL IS NEEDED TO SAFELY PROTECT THE HEART & SOUL OF OUR DEMOCRACY.

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THE POOR PEOPLE’S CAMPAIGN TODAY Within the last few years, several religious leaders, including Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, have called for a renewed committment to Dr. King’s cause. The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Renewal conducted a “Souls of Poor People Audit,” gathering “testimonies from hundreds of poor people” from more than thirty states accross the nation. The result of this survey has been a call to moral renewal, “we believe,” the Poor Peoples Campaign writes, “that when decent people see the faces and facts that the Souls of Poor Folk Audit presents, they will be moved deeply in their conscience to change things” (source: poorpeoplescampaign.org/demands).

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THE POOR PEOPLE’S CAMPAIGN TODAY

A CALL FOR EQUITY IN EDUCATION

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THE POOR PEOPLE’S CAMPAIGN TODAY School segregation ended in 1954 with Brown v. Board of Education. But while many schools are now integrated, educational oppression still exists in America. There is a higher probability that African-American and Hispanic students will attend schools that are underfunded. White students are more likely to attend a public school with better resources. Today’s Poor People’s Campaign addresses education in its “Moral Agenda Based on Fundamental Rights,” demanding: “every child receives a high-quality, well-funded, diverse public education. We demand an end to the re-segregation of schools. We demand free tuition at public colleges and universities, and an end to profiteering on student debt. We demand equitable funding for historically black colleges and universities” (poorpeoplescampaign.org).

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TODAY’S POOR PEOPLE’S CAMPAIGN

KNOW THAT YOU ARE NOT ALONE Unite to topple the pillars of oppression. Lift up those affected by poverty & systemic racism.

POOR MEANS US.

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TODAY’S POOR PEOPLE’S CAMPAIGN

THE ARC OF THE MORAL UNIVERSE IS LONG, BUT IT BENDS TOWARDS JUSTICE Martin Luther King, Jr.

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SOURCES WE CONSULTED & SUGGESTED READING

Barber, William J., and Jonathan WilsonHartgrove. Third Reconstruction: How a Moral Movement Is Overcoming the Politics of Division and Fear. Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 2017. Barber, William J., Liz Theoharis, and R. H. Lowery. Revive Us Again: Vision and Action in Moral Organizing. Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 2018. Dailey, Jane Elizabeth. The Age of Jim Crow: A Norton Casebook in History. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company, 2009. King, Martin Luther, Jr. A Time to Break Silence: The Essential Works of Martin Luther King, Jr., for Students. Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 2013. kinginstitute.stanford.edu nobelprize.org/prizes/peace/1964/king/facts poorpeoplescampaign.org Theoharis, Liz. Always with Us?: What Jesus Really Said About the Poor. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2017. Wormser, Richard. The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Griffin, 2004.


poor means us The History, Legacy, & Continuing Importance of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Poor People’s Campaign

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Applied Graphic Design: Poor Means Us  

This 20 page saddle-stitch zine examines the history, legacy and continuing importance of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Poor People’s Campaign. T...

Applied Graphic Design: Poor Means Us  

This 20 page saddle-stitch zine examines the history, legacy and continuing importance of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Poor People’s Campaign. T...

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