‘I Am a Man’: The ugly Memphis sanitation workers’ strike that led to MLK’s assassinationBreaking News
tags: MLK, Memphis sanitation workers strike
The rain was torrential, flooding streets and overflowing sewers. Still, the Memphis public works department required its sanitation workers — all black men — to continue to work in the downpour Feb. 1, 1968.
That day, two sanitation workers, Echol Cole and Robert Walker, took shelter from the rain in the back of their garbage truck. As Cole and Walker rode in the back of the truck, an electrical switch malfunctioned. The compactor turned on.
Cole and Walker were crushed by the garbage truck compactor. The public works department refused to compensate their families.
Eleven days after their deaths, as many as 1,300 black sanitation workers in Memphis walked off the job, protesting horrible working conditions, abuse, racism and discrimination by the city, according to the King Institute at Stanford University.
comments powered by Disqus
- Savannah Approves Changes to Confederate Monument From 1875
- Law Professor Eric Posner Proposes Bringing Back Indentured Servitude
- Public Rates Presidents: Kennedy, Reagan, Obama at Top
- Elizabeth Warren’s striking speech responding to Trump’s “Pocahontas” taunts
- When the next generation looks racially different from the last, political tensions rise
- Was This Technology historian plagiarized? Sure seems like she was.
- Meet the new authorized historian of Britain's communications intelligence agency
- Lerone Bennett Jr., journalist and historian of African American life, dies at 89
- Right after the Civil War, says Stanford's Richard White, Americans were really hopeful, then reality hit
- What departments of history are doing about lower enrollments