The Chicago Plan - January 7, 1966

Although the mid-1960s saw major victories for the civil rights movement, including the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, organizers knew that the struggle for Black liberation did not end with those legislative victories.

In the latter half of the 1960s, organizers increasingly shifted their focus from voting rights and formal segregation (such as buses, lunch counters and schools) to poverty, slums, and other more informal structures of segregation that perpetuated the economic exploitation of African Americans. This focus also brought more civil rights activism to the North—including from organizations like the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).

This document demonstrates the shift in focus through Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s explanation of the SCLC’s plan to end slums and economic exploitation in Chicago.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
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