Rev. Ralph David
On May 9, 1968, during Black
Culture Week, Rev. Ralph David Abernathy addressed over 200 people
at a dinner held at Northeastern’s Speare Hall.
Rev. Abernathy, comrade and
successor to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as president of the Southern
Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), delivered a speech that touched
upon economic issues such as poverty, unemployment, and urban renewal.
At the $100-a-plate dinner, Rev. Abernathy emphasized the need for adequate
income levels and decent housing.
The function raised $15,000
for King’s family, SCLC, and the Poor People’s Campaign
which had been created by SCLC in hopes of introducing a new element
into the civil rights struggle. Poor People’s Campaign leaders
wanted to address the economic inequalities and poverty that affect
people of all races.