Hundreds Rally In Binghamton To Revive MLK’s Poor People’s Campaign

About 500 people gathered at the United Presbyterian Church in downtown Binghamton Tuesday night for what they call a revival of Dr. Martin Luther King’s campaign for the rights of poor people. The national group heading up the new Poor People’s Campaign is organizing people in a fifteen cities across the US, including Binghamton. Multiple faith leaders rallied attendees, talking about what they see as systemic injustices – including cash bail for jail, strict rules on voting, and a lack of a living wage. “It is systemic poverty. It’s policies put in place put in place to keep people where we are,” said Rebecca Kindig, associate pastor at United Presbyterian. Her group already hosts community meals once a week and makes a point to employ people who can’t find work elsewhere.

Listen to a 1962 Speech by Martin Luther King, Jr.

The other day on Facebook , NPR shared a story it produced in 2014 about the then recently discovered recording of a speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. from 1962. The New York State Museum unearthed the audiotape, once lost to history, while digitizing its massive archive.

New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller asked King to address the New York Civil War Centennial Commission during a commemoration of the Emancipation Proclamation. The overall message of Dr. King’s speech was that the great promises set forth by the Emancipation Proclamation, and the Declaration of Independence, had fallen short. Dr. King believed that the best way to commemorate the Emancipation Proclamation was to “make its declaration of freedom real” by reaffirming America’s commitment to equality. Even today, 54 years after Dr. King spoke, his words resonant.