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City of Hope: The 1968 Poor People's Campaign


National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution


Washington, DC

The Poor People's Campaign was Dr. Martin Luther King's last and most ambitious project: to compel the country to confront the realities of poverty in modern America. More than just an anniversary exhibition, City of Hope again brings the issue to the nation's capital to show that the war on poverty is not won. Through archival media and a diverse collection of photographs taken by the campaign's participants, the exhibition recognizes the humanity of those labeled "poor," investigates the innovative, cross-cultural strategies they employed to effect change and puts visitors "on the ground" in Resurrection City, the symbolic city-within-a-city they built.

The design approach allows historic photographs to take center stage, while capturing the environment of Resurrection City, from the sun-dappled light on a communal town hall tent, to echoes of rally songs and marching activists.

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