MAY 11, 1968
The Poor People’s Campaign arrived in Washington, D.C. A town called “Resurrection City” was erected as a tribute to the slain Martin Luther King Jr.
King had conceived the campaign, which was led by his successor at the head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Ralph David Abernathy. Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson reached out to young Black men wanting vengeance for King’s assassination.
“Jackson sat them down and said, ‘This is just not the way, brothers. It’s just not the way,”’ recalled Lenneal Henderson, then a student at the University of California at Berkeley. “He went further and said, ‘Look, you’ve got to pledge to me and to yourself that when you go back to wherever you live, before the year is out, you’re going to do two things to make a difference in your neighborhood.’ It was an impressive moment of leadership.”