Celebrate Martin Luther King!

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Posted by: Felicia Crawford-Randle on Friday, January 12, 2024

As we commemorate the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., often considered one of the greatest leaders and advocates for civil rights, it is important to shed light on his role in the fair housing movement. Historically, Black Americans have been routinely deprived of adequate, quality housing and even openly excluded from living in certain areas within cities around the U.S.

Dr. King recognized that fair housing was a key component of racial justice and took action by co-leading a campaign to challenge discrimination in employment, education, and housing in Chicago, called the Chicago Freedom Movement. Dr. King moved to Chicago in the summer of 1966 to help organize tenants’ unions, convey their demands to city leaders, and organize marches through majority-white neighborhoods. The goal of the Chicago Freedom Movement was to advocate for the right of Black Americans to buy homes anywhere they wished.

The most significant outcome of the Chicago Freedom Movement was the passing of the Fair Housing Act in 1968. Although the Fair Housing Act was introduced in 1966, the Act was actually signed into law in 1968, one week after Dr. King was assassinated in Memphis, TN. Although it’s been more than 50 years since Dr. King’s assassination and the passage of the Fair Housing Act, there is still so much to achieve in the area of fair housing. This MLK Jr. Day, we remain inspired to continue to fight for equality and justice in housing as Dr. King did.



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