As the nation prepares to mark Martin Luther King Day next week, modern day civil rights leaders have launched a new Poor People’s Campaign, inspired by the historic 1968 action led by King and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. In the coming months, organizers are planning six weeks of direct action at statehouses across the country and the U.S. Capitol to call attention to systemic racism, poverty, the war economy and ecological devastation. DN! speaks with Reverend William Barber, president and senior lecturer of Repairers of the Breach. He’s the leader of Moral Mondays and the author of “Third Reconstruction: Moral Mondays, Fusion Politics, and the Rise of a New Justice Movement.” DN! also speaks with Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, evangelical minister and director of the School for Conversion in Durham, North Carolina. He is author of the upcoming book, “Reconstructing the Gospel: Finding Freedom from Slaveholder Religion.” Wilson-Hartgrove grew up as a white Southern Baptist, and he served as a page for the late South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond, a fierce foe of the civil rights movement and supporter of segregation. Wilson-Hartgrove’s political transformation began after hearing William Barber preach.
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