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I AM A MAN: The Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike 1968 online exhibit

Grade Level Grades 9-12


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In 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee, the labor movement and the civil rights movement came together in a monumental struggle for human and public employee rights. On February 11, over 1,300 sanitation workers — nearly all were African American — went on strike demanding their basic rights to organize a union, to gain a living wage and to receive the respect and dignity due all working men and women. During the strike Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. came to Memphis to support the workers but was tragically assassinated. This exhibit explores the drama of this historic strike where marchers wore signs simply stating: I AM A MAN.  This online exhibit allows students to explore primary documents, newspaper clippings, photographs and video clips from a symposium held at Wayne State University with union leaders and clergy who were there.  

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