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Voting Rights Aren’t Just a Black Issue: They Affect Poor People of All Races

The Poor People's Campaign is building a multi-ethnic national force to “save the democracy,” and end the cross-racial poverty it sees as born of racialized voter suppression.
The Poor People's Campaign has created a series of maps to show that the states with laws that make voting difficult are closely aligned to the states with the highest percentages of poor people.
The Poor People's Campaign has created a series of maps to show that the states with laws that make voting difficult are closely aligned to the states with the highest percentages of poor people.Poor People's Campaign

On November 1, a few days before the midterm elections, Reverend William Barber II took the stage at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem. He was there to talk about the movement he planned to help lead—the coming fight for “the soul of our nation.”

In an auditorium off the hall where Langston Hughes’ ashes are interred, Barber and Reverend Liz Theoharis—a black male Southerner and a white female Northeasterner, respectively—spoke about class, voting rights, politics, and morality. The two are the co-chairs of the recently launched Poor People’s Campaign, a rekindling of the wider movement that Martin Luther King, Jr. was building shortly before he was assassinated.