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Resurrection City Wash. D.C., 1968
The first phase of the Poor People's Campaign began on this date in 1968. Convoys had started from different sections of America on May 2, and picked up demonstrators along the way. On this day, nine caravans of poor people arrived in Washington, D.C.
In the capital, demonstrators erected a camp called “Resurrection City” on a 16-acre site near the Lincoln Memorial. Reverend Ralph Abernathy, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference's (SCLC) successor to the slain Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., began the Poor People's Campaign with the proclamation that "the poor are no longer divided. We are not going to let the white man put us down anymore. It's not white power, and I'll give you some news, it's not Black power, either. It's poor power, and we're going to use it."
The Poor People's Campaign (PPC) was a convergence of racial and economic concerns that brought the poor, including those who were black, white, Indian, and Hispanic, to live in shantytowns and demonstrate daily in Washington from May 14 until June 24, 1968. Dr. Martin Luther King conceived the PPC, but, unfortunately, Rev King was killed just a month earlier and could not lead it.