Fighting for a U.S. federal budget that prioritizes peace, economic security and shared prosperity
April 10, 2018 - Download PDF Version
Originally published at www.ips-dc.org.
“WE MUST SEE NOW THAT THE EVILS OF RACISM, ECONOMIC EXPLOITATION AND MILITARISM ARE ALL TIED TOGETHER…YOU CAN’T REALLY GET RID OF ONE WITHOUT GETTING RID OF THE OTHER.”
The Souls of Poor Folk is an assessment of the conditions and trends of poverty today and of the past fifty in the United States. In 1967, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., alongside a multiracial coalition of poor, grassroots leaders, religious leaders, and other public figures, began organizing with poor and marginalized communities across racial and geographic divides. Together, The Poor People’s Campaign aimed to confront the underlying structures that perpetuated misery in their midst.
Fifty years later, The Souls of Poor Folk challenges us to take a look at how these conditions have changed since 1968. The stark findings draw from a wide variety of sources, including primary and secondary data as well as interviews with and testimonies by people who have been living through and responding to these changes on the ground. The facts, figures, and faces in these pages counter numerous myths about poverty in our society, including two of the most prevalent:
This report demonstrates that the structural issues of systemic racism, poverty, the war economy and militarism, and ecological devastation contribute more to poverty than individual failures.
This report makes a clear case that the richest nation in the world has sufficient resources to protect the environment and ensure dignified lives for all its people.