Just Off My Bookshelf: Going Down Jericho Road

This was a fascinating read about Martin Luther King’s final campaign and his final days. There are plenty of books about King but this one makes a unique contribution in telling the often forgotten endeavor of King’s Poor People’s Campaign. This is a vivid telling of the struggle for economic equality which was often more challenging than the battle for civil rights.

The content covers a short period of time but thoroughly details the events, emotions, struggles, and hopes of the organized effort to achieve economic justice. Reading this book gives a deep sense of what it must have felt to be alive during these days of tension. It also reveals that the issues of class are still barriers of division–even among people committed to civil rights and reconciliation. Readers will find many heroes of action and a steady reminder of what if means to suffer in order to bring about change.

Five Quotes that stood out:

The battle in the South will continue to be black against white, instead of what it should be and what we can make it: a battle of people against poverty and injustice.

I’d rather be dead than afraid. You’ve got to get over being afraid of death. 

Whenever men and women straighten their backs up, they’re going somewhere. Because a man can’t ride your back unless it is bent. 

We must rapidly begin the shift from a ‘thing-oriented’ society to a ‘person-oriented’ society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered. 

Nothing could be more tragic than to stop at this point…We’ve got to see it through…either we go up together or we go down together.