The Christian Science Monitor

Fifty years after King, Atlantans see a dream still deferred

Zeus Daniel works as a master barber at Stoney's Barbershop on Jan. 27 in Atlanta. The entrepreneur says he doesn't like the president's remarks on race, but admires him as a businessman. 'If you are only looking into the negative you are going to stay still and that is where you are going to be at,' Mr. Daniel says. Source: Ann Hermes/Staff

Here at Stoney’s Barbershop on Atlanta's historic Edgewood Ave., Zeus Daniel, a soldier turned master barber, is carefully trimming neck lines as a Jay-Z tune spins low on the speakers and fellow barbers use strop-sharpened razors to pattern crisp beards.

Customers wait in an area designed to feel just like owner Jimmie Stone’s basement – low, slow, and welcoming. It has been nearly 50 years to the day since the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., Atlanta’s most famous native son, was gunned down in Memphis, leading to a summer of racial riot and unrest across the United States.

The hope of good jobs as salvation is today as promising – and as elusive – as in 1968, when the post-assassination Kerner Report found institutional disparities at work in keeping African-Americans poor, underemployed, and disillusioned.

Before his assassination on April 4, 1968, King was in the process of launching the Poor People’s Campaign – a fight for economic equality that he planned to take to the White House.

“We fought here and all over from Selma right through the black belt of Alabama to get the right to vote. Now we are going to get the right to

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