Voice to the Voiceless
The Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection gallery features a rotating exhibition of items from The Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection, where visitors can view the personal papers and items of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Other Dream: King and the Poor People’s Campaign
After the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, many civil rights organizations shifted their focus to education, social welfare, and unemployment issues. Under the leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) framed inequality as not limited to racial discrimination, but as the result of income disparity. The SCLC partnered with labor unions for fair wages and safe working conditions and formed Operation Breadbasket, a nationwide campaign to ensure fair hiring practices. The organization then launched the Poor People’s Campaign–its most ambitious campaign for economic equality and the second phase of the Civil Rights Movement.
The Poor People’s Campaign brought together a range of organizations and poor people of all backgrounds- from Appalachia to Native American reservations- to form a powerful anti-poverty coalition. The direct action campaign culminated in a series of nonviolent protests and lobbying efforts in Washington, DC in 1968, the hallmark of which was an encampment in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial where participants resided in simple plywood structures intended to dramatize living conditions of the poor.
The Poor People’s Campaign successfully put hunger and poverty on the national agenda, and set a precedent for multicultural coalition-building for a common goal. The campaign resulted in food programs for 1,000 of the nation’s poorest cities, supplemental nutrition programs for mothers and children, rent subsidies for low-income earners, and hundreds of millions in funding public school lunch programs and services for Native Americans.
About the Curatorial Team
- Dr. Vicki Crawford, Ph.D, Director, The Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection
- Lauren Tate Baeza, Director of Exhibitions, The National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Inc.
- Nicole A. Moore, Director of Education, The National Center of Civil and Human Rights, Inc.
- Sarah Tanner, Head, Archives Research Center, Atlanta University Center, Robert W. Woodruff Library
Special Thanks to Dr. Robert Hamilton
- Learn More About the Current Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival
- View a list of the book titles provided by the AUC Woodruff Library Book Collection of the Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. Collection
- Visit the Office of the Morehouse College King Collection online here.
In Partnership With
THIS EXHIBIT INCLUDES
Visit the exhibit located on The Center’s first floor to learn more about the content in these cases.
View beautiful photographs of Resurrection City and Solidarity Day by Jill Freedman
In this article King argues for an Economic Bill of Rights written for Look magazine and published just before his assassination in April 1968.
View King’s official announcement of the Poor People’s Campaign from the SCLC organization records dated December 4, 1967.
Visit The Museum
Learn about The American Civil Rights Movement and its significance
for the progress of human rights across the world.