I Am A Man, Sanitation Workers Strike, Memphis, Tennessee

View Larger

Ernest C. Withers
American (1922–2007)
I Am A Man, Sanitation Workers Strike, Memphis, Tennessee, March 28, 1968
Gelatin-silver print, 1994
97.21.1

Ernest C. Withers could be called the original photographer for the Civil Rights Movement. Withers’ coverage of the brutal murder of a fourteen-year-old African-American, Emmett Till, in 1955 became a catalyst for the push toward equal rights.

In this photograph, sanitation workers assemble in front of Clayborn Temple for a solidarity march. On the 53rd day of the Memphis Sanitation Workers' strike, a week after this picture was taken, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated on the Lorraine Motel balcony.

© Estate of Ernest C. Withers and Panopticon Gallery of Photography, Boston, Mass.