Poor People's Campaign Ethan NadeAu


In 1967, the year of the Poor People's Campaign, one in seven Americans lives in poverty. Poverty is endemic in the rural South and the inner cities across the U.S.

Civil Rights organizations such as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the National Welfare Rights Organization organized the campaign after recognizing the endemic nature of poverty in the U.S. These organizations served as a catalyst for the campaign's occurence.

In conjunction with the Civil Rights groups, leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Marian Wright organized the voices of many Americans and directed their displeasure into the campaign.

The campaign consisted of an encampment on the National Mall dubbed "Resurrection City".

A "nonviolent army of the poor" is encamped in the city, and the goal is to bring poverty to the attention of the U.S.

Due to several factors, including the assasinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., the campaign ultimately fails.

"After such brave beginnings and bright achievements, it is saddening to see the Poor People's Campaign end on an ugly and bitter note, with the remnants of the marchers being driven from Resurrection City by police" (The Louisville Courier Journal)

The quote encapsulates the general feelings of the Civil Rights movement regarding the Poor People's Campaign. The campaign was promising yet ended in an anticlimactic finish. This result lowered the morale of Civil Rights advocates.

"Poverty exists and is there to be seen by anyone who wishes to see it. The problem, however, is that all too few, including members of the Congress, wish to see the problem" (Moral Equivalent March)

The quote, a letter to the editor, portrays the feelings of average, impoverished Americans towards the march. Many people could identify with the Poor People's Campaign.

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