May 31, 2018

“I Am A Man: My First Story 50 Years Later”

Photographer Richard Copley speaks on the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Workers' Strike

I am a man
Copyright Richard Copley

The Walter P. Reuther Library, in collaboration with the Wayne Law’s Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights, is proud to host renowned photographer Richard L. Copley as he discusses his work and experiences during the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Workers’ Strike.

Memphis sanitation workers, AFSCME Local 1733, went on strike for increased wages and union recognition, but most importantly, to be treated with respect and dignity. The strike became an important chapter in the civil rights movement, attracting the support of Martin Luther King Jr., who was visiting the striking workers when he was assassinated. Copley documented key moments during the strike, including marches, police and National Guard response, rallies, speeches, and memorials for King.

On June 7, 2018, at 6:30pm, Copley will talk about the assignment — his first as a photojournalist — to document the strike. The event will take place at Wayne State University Law School’s Partrich Auditorium, located at 471 W. Palmer, Detroit. A selection of his photographs is also on display.

The Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights at Wayne State University Law School supports the educational, economic and political power of underrepresented communities in urban settings.

The Reuther Library is the largest labor archives in North America. Its collection strengths extend to the political and community life of urban and metropolitan Detroit, the civil rights movement in Michigan and nationally, and women's struggles in the workplace. The Reuther Library also houses the Wayne State University Archives.


Meghan Courtney
Phone: 313-577-0147

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