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Rev. William Barber & Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove: "White Poverty"

When most Americans think of poverty, they imagine Black faces. As a teenager, Reverend William J. Barber II recalls seeing Black mothers interviewed on television whenever there was a story on food stamps or unemployment; poverty, then as now, was depicted as an essentially Black problem. In a work that promises to have lasting repercussions, Barber—now a leading advocate for the rights of our nation’s poor and the “closest person we have to Dr. King” (Cornel West)—addresses white poverty as a hugely neglected subject that might just be the key to mitigating racism and bringing together the tens of millions working-class and impoverished whites with low-income Blacks. Recognizing that angry social media posts have replaced food, education, and housing as a “salve” for the white poor, Barber contends that the millions of America’s lowest-income earners have much in common, and together with Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, provides one of the most sympathetic and visionary approaches to endemic poverty in decades.

About the Authors: 

Reverend William J. Barber II is a Protestant minister, social activist, professor, and founding director of the Center for Public Theology and Public Policy at Yale Divinity School. President of Repairers of the Breach, Barber will lead the Poor People’s Campaign’s March on Washington in June 2024.

Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove is founder of the School for Conversion and assistant director of the Center for Public Theology and Public Policy at Yale Divinity School.

About the Program: 

  • To attend in person please register here
  • Doors will open to registered attendees at 6 pm. 
  • Urban Reads Bookstore will be on-site and have books available for purchase.
  • Free parking vouchers are available to program attendees who park at the Franklin Street Garage (15 W. Franklin Street) after 4pm.  Ask Pratt event staff for your parking voucher prior to or after the program. 
  • This free event will be presented in-person and virtually.   

Virtual Meeting Information

There is no registration required for virtual attendance, simply visit the Enoch Pratt Free Library's Facebook or Youtube page. 

Tuesday, June 11 at 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Central Library, Wheeler Auditorium
400 Cathedral Street, Baltimore, MD 21201

Event Type

Writers LIVE!, Virtual Event

Age Group


Compass Category

Writers LIVE at the Library

Event Publisher

Cleve Corner, Manager of Speaker & Author Engagement

Digital Signage



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