The speech that Martin Luther King didn’t live to give: on poverty in America

By | April 1, 2013

For Hilary Shelton, President of the Washington bureau of the NAACP, it was the speech that Martin Luther King didn’t give that gets to the heart of the fight for equal rights in America.

“When Dr Martin Luther King was assassinated, he was preparing to deliver a major speech on poverty,” he says. “Robert Kennedy, [who was assassinated just weeks after Dr King] when he was running for President, also recognised that poverty prevents people being equal. And it is still one of the major barriers to equal rights today.

“We have to accept that the parents that have the most resources are not African-American. Sixty per cent of African-American children live in families whose income levels fall below what is recognised as the poverty line. Professional parents produce professional children, and the cycle of poverty is a major concern.” (The Independent UK)

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