King died 50 years ago fighting against economic injustice

Fifty years ago today, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, where he was supporting African-American sanitation workers after the public works department refused to compensate the families of two men who died on the job.

For as much attention as King receives for fighting against racial injustice, he spent much of his life speaking out against economic inequality – an issue that is still at the center of many of today’s political conversations.

Yet 50 years after the Kerner Commission delivered a report to President Lyndon B. Johnson on the unrest in African-American communities, recent data show much of what King fought to dismantle remains in place. An Economic Policy Institute report released in February found:

“With respect to homeownership,…

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