Economic Equality and Social Solidarity: MLK’s Neglected Legacies

14 Harvard Law & Policy Review 701-728 (2020)

28 Pages Posted: 14 Feb 2020

Date Written: December 10, 2019


While the Martin Luther King, Jr. of legend is portrayed as a solitary figure, by the end of his life he had become determined to grow the Civil Rights Movement far beyond a “small striking force” of activists. He envisioned a much broader base of people seeking transformation, tied together in “long term relationships”, organized “solidly and simultaneously in thousands of places.” Further, while we know generally that his policy scope had broadened beyond racism to include poverty and militarism, now is a good time to examine how deeply he interrogated all three. Reviewing his last book, Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos Or Community?, Prof. McDougall shows how Dr. King forecast many of the issues that trouble us today. The book also provides pathways to resolution, including social solidarity to combat racism and a “Bill of Rights for the Disadvantaged” to combat economic inequality.

Keywords: Martin Luther King, civil rights, racism, militarism, poverty, civil rights movement, reparations, solidarity

JEL Classification: H51, H52, H53, I31

Suggested Citation

McDougall, Harold A., Economic Equality and Social Solidarity: MLK’s Neglected Legacies (December 10, 2019). 14 Harvard Law & Policy Review 701-728 (2020), Available at SSRN:

Harold A. McDougall (Contact Author)

Howard University School of Law ( email )

2900 Van Ness Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20008
United States

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