Memorial to striking Memphis sanitation workers opens

April 5, 2018

A bronze and steel sculpture honoring a sanitation workers strike that brought the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to Memphis in 1968 was dedicated on Thursday, April 5, 2018, in Memphis, Tenn. The memorial sits at I Am A Man Plaza next to the Clayborn Temple, which served as the headquarters of the strike. (AP Photo/Adrian Sainz).

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A memorial honoring sanitation workers who led a strike that brought Martin Luther King Jr. to Memphis, Tennessee, in 1968 is now open.

Sanitation workers, city leaders and the architects who designed the I Am A Man plaza gathered at the Clayborn Temple on Thursday to dedicate the new memorial.

The temple was the headquarters of the striking workers, who had sought better pay and safer working conditions. King came to Memphis 50 years ago to support the strike. He was killed at a Memphis motel on April 4, 1968.

The plaza’s name comes from “I Am A Man” placards held by marchers during the strike. It features a 12-foot (3.5-meter) bronze and stainless steel sculpture and a wall with names of the 1,300 strikers. It is illuminated at night.

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