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Third episode of the I AM Story podcast focuses on Dr. King

Supporters before the National Guard was called into Memphis.
Third episode of the I AM Story podcast focuses on Dr. King
By AFSCME Staff ·

AFSCME released the third episode of its I AM Story podcast today about the Memphis, Tennessee, Sanitation Workers’ Strike of 1968 and its place in American history.

Seven weeks after the strike began, garbage was piling up and the city was feeling the pressure. The labor action was expanding into a mass community mobilization – with churches, student activists, and civil rights organizations and even outside agitators joining the fray. But the mayor and city council had stopped negotiating with the workers. And local media had turned their backs on the strike, ignoring the men’s struggle.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. returned to Memphis to lead a peaceful mass march. As events on the ground unfolded, history was shaped, legacies were established, and a new path was forged. 

This episode features AFSCME President Lee Saunders, exclusive interviews with Martin Luther King III, AFSCME Secretary-Treasurer Emeritus Bill Lucy, historian Michael Honey, the Rev. James Lawson, photographer Richard Copley, local activist Joe Calhoun, AFSCME official P.J. Ciampa, sanitation worker Cleophus Smith and Jesse Jones (son of local union leader T.O. Jones), along with archival audio from Dr. King, Coretta Scott King and the Rev. Ralph Jackson. 

Download the episode from whichever platform you use to get your podcasts. For more information, visit

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