W.E.B Du Bois argued that the ideology of white supremacy prevented black and white workers from uniting, to the detriment of both. The result of this was that wages of both could be kept low by the white supremacist capitalist ruling class.
In 1968 Martin Luther King, Jr. begun to organize the Poor People’s Campaign.
It was a multiracial effort aimed at alleviating
poverty regardless of race in order to build the network needed to
achieve the goal of redistributing political and economic power. King
had shifted his focus to these issues after observing
that gains in civil rights had not improved the material conditions of
life for many African Americans. Just as King was beginning this
campaign he was assassinated.
In his final speech King stated: “Now, let me say as I move to my conclusion that we’ve got to give
ourselves to this struggle until the end. Nothing would be more tragic
than to stop at this point, in Memphis. We’ve got to see it through. And
when we have our march, you need to be there. Be concerned about your
brother. You may not be on strike. But either we go up together, or we
go down together.“