John Hope Bryant

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s civil rights movement was not limited to "saving Black Americans," nor was it limited to halting Black oppression of the 20th century. 

The civil rights movement as seen through Dr. King's eyes, was about "redeeming the soul of America from the triple evils of war, racism and poverty." In other words, he saw the success of a nation wrapped up in the same cause that engulfed Black America.

Dr. King believed, and I believe rightly so, that America could never achieve her full potential until Black America and other minority groups, as well as other low-wealth communities and left-behind populations, had an equal shot at the American dream. In short, America needed every oar in the water, rowing the boat marked American future prosperity.

Dr. King substantially achieved his mission of and around civil rights, and history shows us that Dr. King was substantially correct on the Vietnam War. But the reality is that Dr. King never really achieved lift off with his poverty eradication agenda. Even his sole financial and economic empowerment legislative success, which came with the passage of the federal fair housing bill of 1968, under President Lyndon Johnson, came only after Dr. King's assassination in 1968.

The housing legislation passed on April 11th, 1968, was in effect a tribute to the man that had championed open housing marches in Chicago since 1966 — the year I was born. Dr. King was killed in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4th, 1968, during his first march of thePoor People's Campaign, and the fair housing bill was signed into law on April 11th, 1968, or seven days after the assassination.

Continuing the Poverty Eradication Work of Dr. King, Introducing Project 5117

With the formal launch of Project 5117, HOPE seeks to pick up where Dr. King left off on the economic agenda.

Read the complete article on Project 5117 at the Huffington Post here.


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