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27 November

'It must not be just black people, it must be all poor people. We must include American Indians, Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, and even poor whites.' With these words, on 27 November 1967, Martin Luther King launched what he called the 'second phase' of the American civil rights movement.

November 27, 2009
1 min read

The Poor People’s Campaign was an attempt to build on the achievements of the ‘first phase’ of the civil rights struggle. This had culminated in legislation ending segregation and guaranteeing basic rights for people of all races in the US.

King aimed to overcome what he termed the ‘limitations to our achievements’ by using the same tactics of nonviolent direct action to focus attention on economic equality and poverty that had been so successful over civil rights. It was to prove a tougher objective, however, and with King’s assassination the Poor People’s Campaign never really got off the ground.


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