The bonds of memory and today’s vast disparities in wealth and well-being tell us that we must continue the struggle launched by workers and by King in the spring of 1968. Today, more people live in poverty in America than in 1968. Now as then, the majority of the poor are “white” but poverty’s heaviest concentration is among people of color, especially young people and women. Poverty exists in part because most of the new jobs in Memphis, as in America, do not pay a living wage.
National Council of Elders
What follows is written in concert with the project initiated by the National Council of Elders on April 4, 2017: Time to Break Silence. Groups around the country will stage public readings of Martin Luther King’s Beyond Vietnam speech on its 50th anniversary. In confronting the deeply rooted racism, militarism and materialism of the United States, Dr. King described the United States as the greatest purveyor of violence in the world.
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Dollars & Sense May/June Issue
The 2011 official poverty rate is 15.1%. The new poverty measure presented—and missed by a wide margin—the opportunity to bring into public view how widespread the problem of poverty is for American families. If what we mean by poverty is the inability to meet one’s basic needs a more reasonable poverty line would tell us that 34% of Americans—more than one in three—are poor.