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To Right These WrongsThe North Carolina Fund and the Battle to End Poverty and Inequality in 1960s America$
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Robert R. Korstad and James L. Leloudis

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780807833797

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807895740_korstad

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Fighting for the High Ground

Fighting for the High Ground

(p.231) 5 Fighting for the High Ground
To Right These Wrongs

Robert R. Korstad

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter discusses the North Carolina Fund's considerable success in organizing the black poor in Durham and the Choanoke region. However, the fact remained that a majority of the poor—in North Carolina and the nation—were white. From the outset, the architects of the War on Poverty had wanted desperately to include that constituency. One reason was practical: the sheer number of poor whites meant that their participation in a campaign against poverty would yield the greatest returns in the form of economic development and value added to human capital. Another reason was decidedly tactical: Lyndon Johnson and allies such as Terry Sanford knew that the War on Poverty would fail if it became too closely identified with the black freedom struggle. In hopes of holding on to conservative southern Democrats, Johnson distanced himself from the agenda of civil rights and characterized his assault on poverty as a means of creating “opportunity for all.”

Keywords:   North Carolina Fund, black poor, Durham, Choanoke region, War on Poverty

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