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Getting Into Step (1968)

Bill Mauldin

Bill Mauldin’s 1968 political cartoon “Getting into Step” about the original Poor People’s Campaign was reprinted for educational purposes with an awareness of the problematic tropes used in the print.

The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival Portfolio features a series of twenty-five
screenprints by twenty-four artists that express the fundamental principles and core concepts that guide the work of
the new Poor People’s Campaign. On December 4, 1967, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. announced plans for a
Poor People’s Campaign and called for the nation to take dramatic steps to end poverty. In the wake of his
assassination the Campaign went forward but fell short of its vision. Fifty years later, a new Poor People’s
Campaign has emerged from over a decade of work by grassroots movements fighting to end poverty, racism,
militarism, and environmental destruction. The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival is
building a broad and deep national movement—rooted in the leadership of poor people—to unite from the bottom
up in a Campaign that can bring forth a moral revolution of values to achieve equality and justice for all people.

On the 50th anniversary of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Beyond Vietnam speech, organizers from the new Poor
People’s Campaign reached out to artists across the country with a general call for artwork addressing the themes
central to the Campaign. Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative responded to the call by setting out to make a popular
education portfolio for Campaign activists and organizers to use during regional and local teach-ins in preparation
for the 40 Days of Moral Action that will begin on Mother’s Day, May 2018.

 

Four sets of feet are marching, walking together. One foot has Black skin, wears no shoes, and has a tattered pant leg. A patch on its knee says: “Blacks.” Another foot has Brown skin, wears a shoe with a supposed Native, Indigenous, pattern on it, and the patch on the pant leg states: “American Indian.” Another patched and ripped pant leg says: “Poor Whites,” and the ripped Converse sneaker has toes showing through it. The final leg belongs to “Puerto Ricans”, and the toes show through a ripped boot. In the distance, on the horizon and between these stepping feet, there are two suited men with concerned looks on their faces as one speaks to the other. The speech text below states: “What worries me, senator, is that they’re getting into step.”



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