Washington, D.C. – Forty-six years after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., hunger and poverty continues to disproportionately affect the African-American community. A recent analysis by Bread for the World takes a look at how employment issues, such as the stagnant minimum wage, impact the African-American community.
“The anniversary of Dr. King’s death reminds us that we still have a long way to go in ensuring freedom from hunger and poverty for African-Americans,” said Bishop Don DiXon Williams, associate for African American Church Relations at Bread for the World. “I urge everyone to advocate against efforts by members of Congress to cut programs vital to struggling African-American families, and hungry and poor people at large.”
Bread’s analysis, “Hunger by the Numbers in the African-American Community: Employment, Wages, and Fairness,” addresses hunger and poverty in the African-American community by taking a closer look at challenges Dr. King was facing at the time of his death.
In the late 1960s, Dr. King was actively involved in planning the Poor People’s Campaign for economic opportunity and equality. Amid this ongoing fight for social justice, he went to Memphis, Tenn., to support a movement by sanitation workers to protest a history of neglect and abuse. He believed the fight in Memphis would expose the need for economic equality and social justice, which he hoped to highlight on a national scale with the Poor People’s Campaign.
The day before the sanitation workers’ scheduled march, Dr. King was assassinated on the balcony of his room at the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis.
“Dr. King gave his life fighting for economic opportunity—a fight that is still important today, as too many African-Americans continue to suffer from hunger and poverty,” Williams added. “Ending hunger in America is possible, but in order to effectively address this issue we must honor Dr. King’s legacy by achieving economic opportunity and equality.”