“WE COME TO YOU AS REPRESENTATIVES OF BLACK, INDIAN, MEXICAN-AMERICAN, PUERTO RICAN AND WHITE-AMERICANS WHO ARE THE TOO LONG FORGOTTEN, HUNGRY AND JOBLESS OUTCASTS IN THIS LAND OF PLENTY. WE COME BECAUSE POOR FATHERS AND MOTHERS WANT A HOUSE TO LIVE IN THAT WILL PROTECT THEIR CHILDREN AGAINST THE BITTER WINTER COLD, THE SEARING HEAT OF SUMMER AND THE RAIN THAT NOW TOO OFTEN COMES IN THROUGH THE CRACKS IN OUR ROOFS AND WALLS.
WE HAVE COME HERE TO SAY THAT WE DON’T THINK IT’S TOO MUCH TO ASK FOR A
DECENT PLACE TO LIVE IN AT REASONABLE PRICES IN A COUNTRY WITH A GROSS
NATIONAL PRODUCT OF 800 BILLION DOLLARS. WE DON’T THINK IT’S TOO RADICAL TO WANT TO HELP CHOOSE THE TYPE OF HOUSING AND THE LOCATION. WE DON’T THINK IT’S ASKING FOR PIE IN THE SKY TO WANT TO LIVE IN NEIGHBORHOODS WHERE OUR FAMILIES CAN LIVE AND GROW UP WITH DIGNITY, SURROUNDED BY THE KIND OF FACILITIES AND SERVICES THAT OTHER AMERICANS TAKE FOR GRANTED.”
– COMMITTEE OF 100, STATEMENTS OF DEMANDS FOR RIGHTS OF THE POOR, 1968
“WITH THE REALITIES OF SYSTEMIC RACISM, SYSTEMIC POVERTY, ECOLOGICAL DEVASTATION, THE WAR ECONOMY AND THE OFTEN FALSE MORAL NARRATIVE OF CHRISTIAN NATIONALISM, WE ARE IN A MOMENT IN TIME WHICH WE NEED A DEEPLY MORAL, DEEPLY CONSTITUTIONAL, ANTI-RACIST, ANTI-POVERTY, PRO-LABOR, TRANSFORMATIVE FUSION COALITION, WHERE PEOPLE OF ALL DIFFERENT RACES, COLORS AND CREEDS COME TOGETHER AND WORK TOGETHER TO ENGAGE IN MORAL
DIRECT ACTION, MASSIVE VOTER MOBILIZATION, AND POWER BUILDING FROM THE BOTTOM UP, STATE BY STATE AND EVEN IN THE U.S. CAPITOL. WE NEED THIS TO
CHANGE THE NARRATIVE AND INSIST THAT WE WILL NO LONGER ENGAGE IN ATTENTION VIOLENCE AGAINST THE POOR AND OTHER INTERLOCKING INJUSTICES
THAT CONNECT TO POVERTY.”
– REV. DR. WILLIAM J. BARBER, II, CO-CHAIR,
POOR PEOPLE’S CAMPAIGN: A NATIONAL CALL FOR MORAL REVIVAL, 2018
Auditing America 50 Years After the Poor People’s Campaign Challenged Racism, Poverty, the War Economy/Militarism and Our National Morality
The Souls of Poor Folk audit can be found at this link: https://www.poorpeoplescampaign.org/audit/
From the introduction:
The Souls of Poor Folk traces the 50 years since 1968, when Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and thousands of Americans, alarmed at their government’s blindness to human need, launched the Poor People’s Campaign. As they marched up from the nation’s neglected shadows, Dr. King paused to answer a plea for support from sanitation workers on strike in Memphis. There an assassin snatched his life on April 4th.
The Souls of Poor Folk is an empirical study that brings us toward an honest confrontation with our own history—how our path has unfolded since 1968 and how our nation trembles today for lack of moral vision. It summons our highest moral aspirations and diagnoses our deepest national ailments over five decades. It draws on academic research but also upon the testimonies of human beings battered by harmful public policies. Alongside the carefully assembled facts, you will hear the voices of America’s poor themselves, many of them now joining this movement. “Not everything that is faced can be changed,” James Baldwin reminds us, “But nothing can be changed until it is faced.”