Poor People’s Campaign

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The Poor People’s Campaign was a 1968 effort to gain economic justice for poor people in the United States. It was organized by Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and carried out under the leadership of Ralph Abernathy in the wake of King’s assassination.

The Campaign demanded economic and human rights for poor Americans of diverse backgrounds. After presenting an organized set of demands to Congress and executive agencies, participants set up a 3000-person tent city on the Washington Mall, where they stayed for six weeks.

The Poor People’s Campaign was motivated by a desire for economic justice: the idea that all people should have what they need to live. King and the SCLC shifted their focus to these issues after observing that gains in civil rights had not improved the material conditions of life for many African Americans. The Poor People’s Campaign was a multiracial effort—including African-Americans, whites, Mexican-Americans, Puerto Ricans, and Native Americans—aimed at alleviating poverty regardless of race.

Source Wikipedia

I was attending Avionics training in the Navy in nearby Millington, TN in 1968 and 1969. In class I had a few instructors who would launch into racist rants about Dr. King, social justice, Vietnam and other verbal invective. It was not a good time for me to be a captive audience to this.

When we on liberty in the city certain areas were considered off-limits (including the legendary Beale Street). I’m not sure if this location was off limits but I’d like to believe that it was.

 

Memphis Poor People March 1968
Memphis Poor People March 1968
Memphis Poor People's March - 1968
Memphis Poor People March 1968
Memphis
I wonder what this guy though about all of this?
Memphis March 1968
Memphis March 1968

Poor People's March at Lafayette Park ppmsca.04302.jpg
Poor People’s March at Lafayette Park ppmsca.04302” by Warren K. Leffler, U.S. News & World Report – This image is available from the United States Library of Congress‘s Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID ppmsca.04302.
This tag does not indicate the copyright status of the attached work. A normal copyright tag is still required. See Commons:Licensing for more information.

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Little Rock Nine

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The Little Rock Nine was a group of nine African American students enrolled in Little Rock Central High School in 1957. Their enrollment was followed by the Little Rock Crisis, in which the students were initially prevented from entering the racially segregated school by Orval Faubus, the Governor of Arkansas. They then attended after the intervention of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. (source Wikipedia)

Little Rock, 1959. Mob marching from capitol to Central High (LOC)
Title from contact sheet folder caption.
U.S. News & World Report Magazine Photograph Collection.
Photograph shows a young African American boy watching a group of people, some carrying American flags, march past to protest the admission of the “Little Rock Nine” to Central High School.

101st Airborne at Little Rock Central High.jpg
101st Airborne at Little Rock Central High” by US Army – US Army. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.

March on Washington 1963

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I’m old enough to remember hearing  Martin Luthor King’s stirring I have a dream speech on television at the March on Washington on August 28, 1963. As his holiday approaches I felt it necessary to share some images of the Civil Right struggle from the Library of Congress archives to remind people of history especially when we have a leading presidential candidate who embraces his own racist viewpoints.

Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages,infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

– George Santaya

[Signs carried by many marchers, during the March on Washington, 1963] (LOC)
Signs being carried by the marchers in 1963

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Civil Rights

Read about the Civil Rights Movement at Amazon.com

I’m old enough to remember hearing  Martin Luthor King’s stirring I have a dream speech on television at the March on Washington on August 28, 1963. As his holiday approaches I felt it necessary to share some images of the Civil Right struggle from the Library of Congress archives to remind people of history especially when we have a leading presidential candidate who embraces his own racist viewpoints.

Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages,infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

– George Santaya

Negro drinking at “Colored” water cooler in streetcar terminal, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (LOC) Lee, Russell,, 1903-1986,, photographer. Negro drinking at “Colored” water cooler in streetcar terminal, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 1939 July.