Martin Luther King's Assassination Analysis

1038 Words5 Pages
In April 1968, Martin Luther King on the night before his assassination had told a group of striking sanitation workers in Memphis, Tennessee: “We’ve got to give ourselves to this struggle until the end. Nothing would be more tragic than to stop at this point in Memphis. We’ve got to see it through”. On 1 February 1968, two Memphis garbage collectors, Echol Cole and Robert Walker, were crushed to death by a malfunctioning truck. Twelve days later, frustrated by the city’s response to the latest event in a long pattern of neglect and abuse of its black employees, 1,300 black men from the Memphis Department of Public Works went on strike. Sanitation workers, led by garbage-collector-turned-union-organizer, T. O. Jones, and supported by the president of the American Federation of State, County, and…show more content…
Speaking to a group of labour and civil rights activists and members of the powerful black church, King praised the group’s unity saying, “You are demonstrating that we can stick together. You are demonstrating that we are all tied in a single garment of destiny, and that if one black person suffers, if one black person is down, we are all down” (King, 18 March 1968). King encouraged the group to support the sanitation strike by going on a citywide strike, and he pledged that on Friday, 22 March, he would return to lead a protest through the city. The next day, King had left, but Southern Christian Leaderships Conference’s (SCLC) James Bevel and Ralph Abernathy remained to help organize the protest and strike. When the day arrived, however, a massive snowstorm had blanketed the region, preventing King from reaching Memphis and causing the march to be rescheduled for 28 March. Memphis city officials estimated that 22,000 students skipped school that day to participate in the demonstration. King arrived late and found a massive crowd on the brink of chaos. Lawson and King led the march together but had to quickly call off the
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