PBS and NPR for Southwest Florida
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

MLK On Poverty in South Florida

Envios via Flickr

Towards the end of his life, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spent his time organizing the "Poor People's Campaign." It worked to achieve economic justice and equality for poor people--a disproportionate number of whom were black. Four days before his death, King’s last Sunday sermon preached about the nation’s responsibility in addressing poverty in the nation.

"It’s all right to tell a man to lift himself by his own bootstraps, but it is a cruel jest to say to a bootless man that he ought to lift himself by his own bootstraps", said King.

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which took over, the campaign after King’s death organized one of the many protests to the Republican national convention held on Miami Beach in august of 1968 August. Poverty levels in South at the time were about 18% of the population. Today, Florida’s poverty rate is just over 17% and Miami-Dade county’s is over 19%