To take a closer look at these images of protest and community action, click on the thumbnails above.

Both the North Carolina Fund and the federal Office of Economic Opportunity insist that disadvantaged people be involved in community program decisions.

Self-help groups spring up in low-income neighborhoods. Protest marches and picket lines call attention to injustices by landlords, merchants, and service agencies. Hand in hand with the Civil Rights Movement, the war on poverty gives voice to long-ignored sectors of our communities.

One North Carolina Congressman, in an attempt to dry up the Fund's financial resources, calls the organization "a political machine meddling in the affairs of local communities." The financial backers of the Fund refuse to flinch.

After a hectic, exciting five years in which Fund workers are often misunderstood, threatened, and shot at, the North Carolina Fund makes final grants and closes its doors in 1969. It leaves behind three spinoff corporations, among them MDC, whose concerns are housing, community development, and workplace-skills development.

E-mail your comments, questions, or reflections about this exhibit to the North Carolina Fund Exhibits Project.

early days | poverty | programs | protest

All photographs in this collection copyright Billy E. Barnes. All rights reserved.