Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957 and brought civil rights to national attention with campaigns against segregation in Albany, Ga., Birmingham, Ala., and St. Augustine, Fla. At a 1963 rally in Washington, Dr. King spoke to more than 200,000 people and presented his dream of a colorblind society.
In 1966, having been extremely successful in combating Jim Crow practices in the South, he turned to the North; he settled on Chicago because of the support of the established local movement.
The leaders of the Chicago Freedom Movement made ending slums their initial focus, and in February 1966, Dr. King announced that the Chicago movement had taken over an apartment building where a sick baby had been living in an unheated, rundown apartment.
When Dr. King and his allies returned to the South, they left a seminary student who had joined the movement in the South in charge of their organization.
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Jessie Jackson continued their struggle for civil rights by organizing the Operation Breadbasket movement that targeted chain stores that did not deal fairly with blacks.
And the struggle continues.
Reginald A. Bess
Department of English and Modern Languages, S.C. State University