Memphis sanitation workers break ground on strike memorial

AP News
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Posted: Dec 11, 2017 1:41 PM

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Sanitation workers who led a strike that brought Martin Luther King Jr. to Memphis, Tennessee, in 1968 have helped break ground on a memorial plaza honoring their struggle and the civil rights leader's legacy.

The aged sanitation workers, some of whom still work for Memphis' Public Works department, used shovels to toss dirt into a pile at a ceremony Monday introducing the design for the I Am a Man Plaza at the historic Clayborn Temple.

The plaza will remind visitors of the strike in which sanitation workers called for higher pay and better working conditions. King came to the city to support the workers and was killed on a Memphis hotel balcony on April 4, 1968.

The plaza's name comes from "I Am A Man" placards held by marchers during the strike.