Apr 18 2023
We Will Not Be Turned Around
Seven weeks after the sanitation 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 unfold, history is shaped, legacies are established, and a new path is forged. This episode features AFSCME President Lee Saunders, exclusive interviews with Martin Luther King III, AFSCME Secretary-Treasurer Emeritus Bill Lucy, historian Michael Honey, Reverend 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 Reverend Ralph Jackson.