Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Garbage Strike, 1968: I _AM_ A MAN

Oh, my.
It never signified for me, until now, that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his amazing last speech, "I've Been to the Mountaintop", [links to full text] in support of striking garbage collectors.
King said, "The issue is injustice. The issue is the refusal of Memphis to be fair and honest in its dealings with its public servants, who happen to be sanitation workers." [boldface mine]
 Photo ^ via Miami Herald ("Four Decades Later", 2008)
I AM a Man. The underlining of what should be obvious... So horribly similar to today's "Black Lives Matter":

 Photo ^ via pixhark gallery
(I like the hand-added apostrophe: I can imagine someone making the sign.)
Excellent resources --more images and information-- at the I AM A MAN exhibit:


The Crow said...

Yep! Ed Norton - always got the names backwards, and yes, Ralph was a bus driver.

I had completely forgotten about MLK's support of the sanitation workers strike. But I remember seeing those words on placards during the evening news at the time. Can't imagine the effect on Ben Jones' family his words must have had.

Those were frightening, but illuminating, years for me. Made me question everything I knew about white society. Still does. Makes me sad that we still need to be reminded of the truth behind the words, the struggles.

I'm glad you're investigating the world of garbage, Fresca. You're teaching me new stuff and reminding me of things we should always remember.

Zhoen said...

We all need to take care of our own garbage, ultimately.

Zhoen said...

Dirty Old London,


deanna said...

The main thing I "got" at that time was my parents' anger at the way people were treated due to their skin being different. We were far from the action. But Mom and Dad marched through town with other parents, to try and bring change.

I'm happy to read what you're up to now, Fresca. And I'm sorry they didn't treat you well enough at the elderly care center. I can relate, having left my nonprofit job in the midst of frustration. You do so well, digging into a subject and writing, though, that it's good you're at it again.

Fresca said...

CROW: I was just a little kid so I don't remember the details, but I do remember the feelings---my mother's distress, for instance, when she told us about MLK's death...

ZHOEN: Thanks for the book rec---I put it on hold at the library. This book, unlike toilets, will focus on the current day, not history, but I will include a little history, and anyway, I am interested for myself too.

DEANNA: Neat memories of your parents! How nice to grow up knowing your parents are trying to make things better.

Thanks for the condolence about work--I didn't know you'd quit the non-profit in frustration.
"Frustration"--that's the word!

Anyway, I can be of some use and enjoy delving into this topic. A woman at the Thrift Store said, "If you convince even one person not to drink bottled water, that's worthwhile."