Though known more for his efforts to eradicate racial segregation and injustice, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. also dedicated his life to economic equality and workers’ rights. On the day prior to his assassination, 45 years ago today, Dr. King was in Memphis assisting the sanitation workers in protesting and illuminating the ills they faced daily. It was also on that day, 45 years ago, that he addressed the protesting workers encouraging them in the uphill battle they faced. He’d previously delivered some portions of that speech, but a day later, it would all be clear how poignant and prophetic his words had been.
Here is but a short portion of Dr. King speaking on 4 April 1968 –
Four days after Dr. King was killed, his widow, Coretta Scott King, along with members of SCLC led a silent march attracting more than 40,000 participants to continue the cause for which he was fighting at the time of his death. On 16 April 1968, the Memphis Sanitation strike ended with wage increases and union recognition.