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  • Tuesday, May 21, 2024
   
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Economic Empowerment: I’ve Been To The Mountain Top - Dr. King’s Final Speech

 

On April 3, 1968 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave is final speech, “I’ve Been to the Mountain Top.”  Dr. King gave what many feel is one of his most important speeches.  In this speech Dr. King called for a major boycott of all local and national brands.  Dr. King spoke of the importance of the Black Dollar and how it could be used to leverage the garnering of civil rights.  It was one of the first times people other than the Black folks heard Dr. King speak of “Economic Equality.”  This speech and the fear of Black America becoming judicial with it’s $30,000,000,000.00 economy is what most true historians believe was the cause of Dr. King’s assassination.

In this, his last speech, he laid out the blueprint for achieving economic power among Black people.  He instructed those in attendance to begin to “pool” their economic power.  He stated that the Black people in America, were richer than every other country in the world, except nine (9).  Dr. King explained how black economic dollars were worth $30,000,000,000.00, which was more than the entire budget of Canada, in 1967.  The ability to use those dollars to empower the Black community was the key to true freedom.

Dr. King’s call to galvanize the monetary power of the Black community was genius.  When Dr. King commanded the boycott of Coca-Cola, Wonder bread, Sealtest Milk, and Hart’s Bread, he was truly weaponizing the black dollar.  This tactic was extremely successful in the  Montgomery Bus Boycott.

The request that would lead to the greatest success was the call for “Bank Ins” and “Insurance Ins”.  Dr. King’s request for the Black people in Memphis, to take their money out of the white banks and put them into the Black owned Tri-State Bank of Memphis, and the Citizens Savings Bank & Trust was the movement to economic power for Black people. He also called for the Black folks of Memphis to buy their insurance policies from the seven owned black insurance agencies. These calls to action are what Dr. King knew would profoundly move the struggle for equality forward. 

The advisors surrounding Dr. King understood there would be great collateral benefits for the Black community.  If you don’t by bread from white folks, you can only buy from Black folks.  If you don’t by soda from Coca-Cola, you will by Black owned sodas or from companies that support the black agenda.  Not only did Dr. King and the inner circle know it but those companies and the people who made billions of dollars knew it as well.

Today we celebrate the speech that should have been heard all over the United States. Take a listen to the second attempt to bring black dollars back under black control.

 
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NOIRE is a new online magazine that scopes the Black and multicultural community from a cutting-edge perspective. Our mantra is “Our Lives, Our Stories, Our Voices.” Our vision is to become the leading source of true, high-quality narratives of people of color.


 

 

 

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