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Monday, January 16, 2017

The Truth About Dr. King and Economic Empowerment

“For we know now that it isn’t enough to integrate lunch counters. What does it profit a man to be able to eat at an integrated lunch counter if he doesn’t have enough money to buy a hamburger?” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is recognized throughout the world as a civil rights champion.  However, many of us underestimate Dr. King’s increasing focus on economic rights — and more important, economic empowerment — during his final years. A closer look at Dr. King’s final five years demonstrates the point.

For example, the 1963 Birmingham Campaign, which many people remember because of the Children’s Crusade and the police force’s use of water hoses and dogs, was not only about desegregating public facilities. The campaign also was about creating equal employment opportunities for Black residents in the downtown stores, which didn’t mind taking Black money but refused to help create Black income...

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