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Eating While Poor in Marks, Mississippi and Newark, New Jersey


In his 1968 speech, “Remaining Awake Through A great Revolution,” Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) reflected on a recent trip he took to Marks, Mississippi, which at the time had the unflattering reputation as the poorest county in the United States. He recalled speaking with unemployed parents that had no kind of income, welfare, or food stamps. “I said how do you live? And they said well we go around—go around to the neighborhood and asked them for a little something. When the berry season comes, we pick berries; when the rabbit season comes, we hunt and catch a few rabbits that’s about it.”  In the northern ghettos of 1968 Newark, New Jersey and Harlem in New York City, MLK also found parents struggling to put food on the table and feed their children. King described these food deserts in the rural South and urban north “as kind of domestic colon[ies]” where the people remained invisible because the economic divide in United States limited contact between them and the more affluent Americans who worked, worshiped, and relaxed and in vastly different spaces. As King put it “our expressways carry us away from the ghetto, [and] we don't see the poor." 

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Eating While Poor Series with Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Eating+While+Poor

Food Stamp Series: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=food+stamps

'Food Stamp President': Race Code, Or Just Politics?: http://www.npr.org/2012/01/17/145312069/newts-food-stamp-president-racial-or-just-politics

Bob Dole & George McGovern - History of Food Stamp Program: [watch 14 min sec] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0_OWueb_8Y

Market Place’s Krissy Clark on Food Stamps: [Listen Now 26 min 30 sec] http://www.wnyc.org/story/what-you-dont-know-you-dont-know-about-food-stamps/

Street Venders in Antebellum New York City Part 1

Back to School Foodways Series, Virginia State