Martin Luther King and The Call for Poverty Reduction

When I grew out of my staunch childhood love of materialism and my school-ingrained sense of religious fervor, most holidays began to seem increasingly insignificant and relatively devoid of symbolic value.  What should have remained days of community action and reflection, have become cheap, tacky, and painfully focused creating a slightly less wealthy, slightly more obese throwaway society.  Thankfully, there are still some days that remain symbolically powerful, and are able to forcibly shake us from the hallmark glitter of Western capitalism to remind us what is really worth celebrating.  

Many of us have different days. For some, Buy Nothing Day is becoming a new Christmas; for others, they are days of remembrance, struggle, and freedom: November 11; June 16; December 10;  March 21; Pride; Independence day(s), and so forth. Today, January 17th, is Martin Luther King Day. I’ve chosen to mark this with some quiet reflection, some loud blogging, and a continued recognition that Dr. King’s fight is far from over both at home and abroad.  I know a number of Canadians who will mark this day, as will many of my friends in South Africa, who continue to discuss King’s message about racial inequality and poverty with an energized fervor that many North American’s tend to lose throughout the year.

While today is a day of celebration for one victory, it is also a call to action to continue to fight for universal human rights and poverty reduction. This morning Diana Estigarribia ( posted an article about Martin Luther King and his message of poverty reduction; one which is often forgotten amidst an endless rerun of “I Have  Dream”. Please check it out.

Martin Luther King and The Struggle Vs. Poverty WE CELEBRATE DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING’S BIRTHDAY today, and most of the press will focus on his achievements as the creator and leader of the nonviolent civil rights movement. You can count on nearly every news outlet showing footage of the “I Have A Dream” speech. But it’s another speech I wanted to focus on, for what Dr. King had to say about poverty. In his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech from December 11, 1964, King talked about the worldwide state of poverty and its effect on his own nation.… Read More



Categories: Editorials and Reports


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