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‘I AM Story’ podcast: Episode 2 is now available

Caption: Rev. Lawson giving a speech in Memphis
‘I AM Story’ podcast: Episode 2 is now available
By AFSCME Staff ·

After Echol Cole and Robert Walker died in a workplace accident – a tragedy covered in the first episode of AFSCME’s “I AM Story” podcast released on April 4 – 1,300 of their fellow sanitation workers in Memphis, Tennessee, went on strike. The men demanded safer working conditions and basic respect for the services they provided. But Mayor Henry Loeb dug in, refusing to recognize their union or even talk to the workers.  

When a peaceful demonstration elicited a violent response from Loeb’s police force, it became clear exactly what the strikers were up against. The city’s hostility brought local churches, students and civic leaders into the struggle.  

The Rev. James Lawson, a leading advocate of nonviolent resistance, emerged as a chief strategist, organizing sit-ins, daily marches and arrests. And the greatest civil rights leader of the time, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., went to Memphis to lend his voice to the fight.  

The second episode of AFSCME’s “I AM Story” podcast, released today, features AFSCME President Lee Saunders, exclusive interviews with the Rev. Lawson, AFSCME Secretary-Treasurer Emeritus Bill Lucy and historian Michael Honey, along with archival audio from Dr. King, Rev. Gilbert Patterson, AFSCME official P.J. Ciampa, Ezekiel Bell, Roy Wilkins of the NAACP and the Rev. William Maxwell Blackburn.   

Download the episode from wherever you get your podcasts.  

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Available now on Apple, Spotify, Google, or wherever you get your podcasts.  

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