Fifty years ago this year, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stood up for striking sanitation workers in Memphis before an assassin struck him down.
“The Memphis sanitation workers’ strike is remembered as an example of powerless African-Americans standing up for themselves. It is also remembered as the prelude to the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.” according to a recent Smithsonian magazine story.
Teamsters across the country will honor the legacy of civil rights and labor leader Martin Luther King Jr. on Jan. 15, 2018.
King devoted his life to securing rights for minorities and eliminating segregation in society. He believed that the path to economic freedom and social justice were one and the same and strongly supported the labor movement.
The Teamsters Union was an early supporter of King, donating money to his cause and sending supplies to marchers and other civil rights workers. Today, Teamsters across the country are committed to the union’s tradition of standing up for social justice. Through organizations like the Teamsters Human Rights Commission, Teamsters are able to carry on the legacy of King.
King actively supported the labor movement, frequently speaking to union audiences.
“As I have said many times, and believe with all my heart, the coalition that can have the greatest impact in the struggle for human dignity here in America is that of the Negro and the forces of labor, because their fortunes are so closely intertwined,” King said in 1962.