April 29, 1968
The Poor People's Campaign
The demise of Martin Luther King Jr.'s final dream was the Poor People's Campaign. On this date, April 29, 1968, 51 years ago the tents and shelters went up for the beginning of Resurrection City. It was Dr. King's hope that tens of thousands of economically deprived Americans of all colors, creeds, and religions, would flock to our nation's capital to demand economic equality from the halls of governmental power. D. King, was focused on a modeled strategic plan that concentrated on a national economic redistribution of wealth. Of course, that plan was in direct opposition of those holding that wealth. So any measure of success for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s plan would need to have the powerful leadership of Dr. King present for the plan to have any chance of success.
In the final months of Dr. King's life, he knew that this struggle for wealth redistribution would be his most difficult battle. The battle for economic rights meant that the powerful would have to actually give up resources. The battle for civil rights although extremely difficult was not a battle for the enriched in American society to share or redistribute wealth. This new battle asked those of wealth to economically make sacrifices that the majority of whom would never agree to. So, that is the reason, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s presence was vital for the struggle to actually have any chance of being minimally successful.
So when that bullet pierced Dr. King's body on April 4, 1968, in Memphis; the bullet did more than kill the ultimate messenger of love, Martin Luther King Jr.; the bullet pierced that King's body also struck directly at the heart of the Poor People's Movement. The bullet also killed any hopes that Dr. King's final dream, the dream for economic wealth distribution died instantaneously as well. No matter how hard Ralph Abernathy and the leaders of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference tried they had absolutely no chance of reviving what racist America murdered on April 4, 1968. All hopes for any fruition of economic reparations, economic sharing, economic justice were essentially dismissed as a non-starter in any discussions with the powers to be. I don't even know if the leaders of the Poor People's Campaign even had the opportunity to discuss any plans with those in power during the time the campaign was initiated on April 29, 1968.
One thing is definitely certain since 1968 black communities have continually suffered multiple economic losses with few economic gains. So, in terms of wealth distribution, the gap between those who have against those don't have, has actually widened. There have been no economic reparations, nor as economic wealth distribution gained any movement towards equality. Although black communities have a spending power exceeding 1.2 trillion dollars, 94% of those spending dollars leave black pockets never to return. So on this day, we must remember that Dr. Martin Luther King's dream of economic fairness, economic equality, and economic opportunities are still unforsaken dreams. It is those dreams that must be reactivated if our black communities are truly ever to reach the heights that Dr. King envisioned the night of April 3, 1968. When Dr. King viewed the scene of being at that mountaintop and looking down on a prosperous black nation.